The Sport Information Resource Centre
The Sport Information Resource Centre

Rugby Canada – Coach John Tait announces 12-player roster for Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team ahead of USA Sevens in Las Vegas this weekend

LANGFORD, B.C. – Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team Head Coach John Tait has named his roster for the upcoming Las Vegas Sevens, the third leg in the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. Canada is coming off a cup title earlier this month at the Sydney Sevens, their third-ever cup trophy and second in the last three series events dating back to last season.

Tait is making two changes to his winning side in Sydney with Caroline Crossley and Sara Kaljuvee replacing Julia Greenshields and Ashley Steacy in Las Vegas.

“Ashley is a part of her sister’s wedding so understandably unavailable to go,” said Tait. “Everyone has been training well so it was a tough selection but there is a lot of physicality and versatility within this team selection. Caroline has been consistently good in the practice and scrimmages so I’m looking forward to watching her compete in Vegas.”

Joining Crossley and Kaljuvee are Britt Benn, Hannah Darling, Bianca Farella, Jen Kish, Ghislaine Landry (captain), Megan Lukan, Kayla Moleschi, Breanne Nicholas, Natasha Watcham-Roy and Charity Williams.

Greenshields will also be in Las Vegas this weekend as Canada will be sending their Maple Leafs development team to participate in the Las Vegas International Invitational Sevens. Greenshields will play alongside Olivia Apps, Margaret Banks, Pam Buisa, Emma Chown, Ashley Gordon, Nakisa Levale, Kaili Lukan, Irene Patrinos, Erika Scott and Keyara Wardley.

Canada enter this weekend third in the series standings, two points behind second-place Australia and four points behind series leaders New Zealand. Canada’s never won back-to-back series events and has never won two events in the same season. Tait is hoping to change both of those this weekend.

“We always believe in our ability to contest for the cup in every tournament and that is the goal for Las Vegas,” said Tait. “Although we won in Sydney the team identified areas we can improve on and know we will have to be better again to get another result.”

Canada will be the top seed in Pool A, where they will be joined by Argentina, France and Russia.

Canada opens the tournament against the Russians, who they’ve met in the cup quarterfinals at both events so far this season, with the teams splitting the two matches. Canada hold a 10-4-1 all-time record vs Russia in the series.

Canada will then face an unfamiliar Argentina side, a team they have not played since a 31-0 win in January of 2013. The Canadians will conclude pool play against France, who they have had much success against on the series, holding a 10-2 all-time record.

“Russia are dangerous, they can score from anywhere and are likely the fastest and one of the most physical teams in the series,” said Tait. “France try and wear opponents down with ball movement and possession. Argentina will be a little unknown but we will treat them no different and will be aggressive on defense and create some turnovers into scores early on to keep them under pressure.”

Canada’s USA Sevens Roster (Name, club, hometown):

Britt Benn – Guelph Redcoats (Napanee, ON)

Caroline Crossley – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)

Hannah Darling – Peterborough Pagans (Warsaw, ON)

Bianca Farella – Town of Mont Royal (Montreal, QC)

Sara Kaljuvee – Toronto Scottish (Ajax, ON)

Jen Kish – Edmonton Rockers (Edmonton, AB) 

Ghislaine Landry – Captain, Toronto Scottish (Toronto, ON) 

Megan Lukan – Unattached (Barrie, ON)

Kayla Moleschi – Williams Lake Rustlers (Williams Lake, BC)

Breanne Nicholas – London St. Georges (Blenheim, ON)

Natasha Watcham-Roy – Hull Volant (Gatineau, QC)

Charity Williams – Markham Irish (Toronto, ON)

Coaching Staff:

Meaghan Howat – Manager

John Tait – Head Coach

Sandro Fiorino – Assistant Coach

Morgan Williams – Assistant Coach

Maple Leafs Las Vegas International Invitational Roster (Name, club, hometown):

Olivia Apps – Aurora Barbarians (Lindsay, ON)

Margaret Banks – Shawnigan Lake (Coquitlam, BC)

Pamphinette Buisa – Ottawa Irish (Gatineau, QC)

Emma Chown – Kingston Panthers (Barrie, ON)

Ashley Gordon – Brampton Beavers (Brampton, ON)

Julia Greenshields – Sarnia Saints (Sarnia, ON)

Nakisa Levale – Abbotsford Griffins (Abbotsford, BC)

Kaili Lukan – Unattached (Barrie, ON)

Irene Patrinos – Ottawa Irish (Mississauga, ON)

Erika Scott – Ormstown Saracens (Dewittville, QC)

Keyara Wardley – Okotoks Lions (Vulcan, AB)

Canada’s USA Sevens Day 1 Schedule (Friday, March 3rd):

Canada vs Russia at 12:01 pm ET / 9:01 am PT

Canada vs Argentina at 2:46 pm ET / 11:46 am PT

Canada vs France at 5:31 pm ET / 2:31 pm PT

About Rugby Canada

Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of rugby union in Canada.  Rugby Union has a long history in Canada dating back to its initial appearance in the 1860s.  Since 1974, Rugby Canada has been a permanent fixture on the global rugby scene, including trips to each of the eight Men’s Rugby World Cups and seven Women’s Rugby World Cups. As a regular on the Men’s and Women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Canada continues to climb the world rankings and challenge the dominant rugby nations in both versions of the game.  Canada’s Women’s Rugby Sevens Team also made history in 2016, capturing the first-ever Bronze Medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Rugby Canada has also put a renewed emphasis on developing its junior programs to support the growth of rugby at the grass-roots level and to ensure there are elite programs for prospering young rugby players to become involved.  Our goal is to develop and train competitive teams for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland, the 2018 Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, the 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan and 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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Bryan Kelly  I  Manager, Communications and Media Relations  I  Rugby Canada  I  3024 Glen Lake Road  I Langford, British Columbia, Canada V9B 4B4  I  Tel. 250.418.8998 ext. 314  I  Fax 250.386.3810  I Cell. 250.216.5272 | bkelly@rugbycanada.ca I www.rugbycanada.ca