Players in the News – November 2020

*Cindy Nelles Scores Winning Try for Canterbury and Named to New Zealand Barbarians Squad – A Look Back to 2012 and the National East v West Match*

Cindy Nelles first showed up on our radar in 2012 when she started at #4 in the national women’s XVs East v West match in Langford. She played for the West and her lock partner that day was Maria Jaworski, the loose forwards on the West team were Kayla Mack, Barbara Mervin and Jen Kish, quite a bit of talent there. The East however had some talent in the backline including Ghislaine Landry, Magali Harvey, Bianca Farella, Britt Benn and Mandy Marchak. The East would prevail on that August day.

The full BCRN article from 2012 with video is here.

Fast forward 8 years and players have gone their separate ways, some retired, some starring for the 7s program and Cindy Nelles lighting it up in NZ, the home of top level rugby.

Here are three recent articles featuring Cindy and her accomplishments.

Belleville rugger rocks New Zealand

Cindy Nelles didn’t exactly receive the red-carpet treatment when she first arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand two years ago.

Now, she’s the toast of the town.

Nelles, a veteran campaigner with the Canadian women’s national rugby team with 19 international appearances under her belt, scored the game-winning try in the recent Farah Palmer Cup final — as time expired — to lift Christchurch-based Canterbury to an 8-7 win over Waikato in the 2020 New Zealand provincial championship, the highest level of domestic women’s rugby competition in New Zealand. Days later, she was named to the lineup of the New Zealand Barbarians all-star team, slated to tackle the vaunted Black Ferns in a tune-up match for the country’s world No. 1-ranked national women’s squad.

Hard to believe that when Nelles first set foot in Christchurch in 2018, the local rugby union barely took notice. Sure, Nelles is a bona fide international women’s rugby standout, but in a country where the game is almost a religion, Nelles still needed to prove she belonged.

And she did.

More at

Canadian international Cindy Nelles named to New Zealand Barbarians rugby squad

Canadian rugby international Cindy Nelles has been named to the New Zealand Barbarians squad to face the New Zealand women later this month.

Nelles is currently working in New Zealand and playing rugby for Canterbury. The lock forward from Belleville, Ont., scored the winning try in the 81st minute for Canterbury on Oct. 31 when it captured its fourth straight Farah Palmer Cup title in an 8-7 win over Waikato in Christchurch.

More at

Canadian rugby star behind Canterbury’s miraculous Farah Palmer Cup comeback

When Canterbury’s Farah Palmer Cup final hero Cindy Nelles first arrived in New Zealand, she reached out to the provincial rugby union, offering her services ahead of the 2018 domestic season.

They never replied.

“I messaged the coach saying ‘hey I’m here’ but I never heard back from them,” Nelles said. “That’s fine. Whatever.”

But after forcing her way into the squad through her performances with the University of Canterbury Viperettes the following winter, the 19-cap Canadian international is now the toast of the team.

More at

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