Canadian women look to defend rugby sevens title in Sydney

Canada opens defence of its Sydney women’s rugby sevens title on Thursday.

The Canadian women defeated the U.S. 21-17 in last year’s final. It marked the third World Rugby Sevens Series championship for the Canadians, joining the Amsterdam Sevens in 2015 and Clermont Sevens in 2016.

“No extra pressure,” Canada coach John Tait said in a statement. “We know that last year really doesn’t mean much when we kick off the tournament. Sydney is a great venue and atmosphere so we will just do our best to enjoy the opportunity to compete again.”

Tait’s team opens against No. 11 Fiji before facing No. 9 Ireland and No. 3 Russia, all at Allianz Stadium.

Australia won the season opener in Dubai, defeating the Americans. Defending World Series champion New Zealand was a disappointing fifth.

The Canadians were fourth in Dubai, going 3-0 on the opening day and dispatching France in the quarterfinal before losing 25-7 to Australia in the semifinals and 10-5 to Russia in the bronze-medal match.

The lone change in the Canadian squad from Dubai sees Olivia Apps coming in for Emma Chown.

“Olivia is a tenacious young player, much like Kayla Moleschi in her approach,” Tait said. “She still has a lot of development in her but we want to give her a taste of the (World) Series level and all that goes with it and get a real measure of her there.”

Bianca Farella and Charity Williams are both continuing their recovery from September shoulder surgery. Kaili Lukan, a former college basketball player who was expected to have a big season alongside sister Megan, is out for the year after injuring her anterior cruciate ligament. Sara Kaljuvee is also injured.

The men’s portion of the Sydney competition kicks off Friday.

Canada, seventh overall after events in Dubai and Cape Town, is in a pool with No. 6 Australia, the No. 12 Americans and No. 13 Scotland.

Defending World Series champion South Africa won in Dubai while New Zealand took Cape Town. The Blitzboks won in Sydney last year, beating England in the final.

Canada Women’s Sevens Roster

Olivia Apps, Aurora Barbarians, Lindsay, Ont. Britt Benn, Guelph Redcoats, Napanee, Ont. Caroline Crossley, Castaway Wanderers, Victoria Hannah Darling, Peterborough Pagans, Warsaw, Ont. Julia Greenshields, Sarnia Saints, Sarnia, Ont. Jen Kish, Edmonton Rockers, Edmonton Tausani Levale, Abbotsford Griffins, Abbotsford, B.C. Ghislaine Landry (capt.), Toronto Scottish, Toronto Megan Lukan, unattached, Barrie, Ont. Kayla Moleschi, Williams Lake Rustlers, Williams Lake, B.C. Breanne Nicholas, London St. Georges RFC, Blenheim, Ont. Natasha Watcham-Roy, Hull Volant, Gatineau, Que.

Just Posted

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

Queens raised $12,035 for the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Turkey to reveal details of probe into Khashoggi’s killing

ISTANBUL — In a sign of growing pressure on Saudi Arabia, Turkey… Continue reading

Utah truck driver is jailed without bond after crash kills 6

HEBER, Utah — A man suspected of driving under the influence remained… Continue reading

A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US

TAPACHULA, Mexico — A ragged army of Honduran migrants streamed through southern… Continue reading

Postal workers to begin strikes in 4 Canadian cities Monday if deal not reached

OTTAWA — The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees says it will… Continue reading

Migrant caravan swells to 5,000, resumes advance toward US

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the… Continue reading

“I don’t feel real”: Mental stress mounting after Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Amy Cross has a hard time explaining the… Continue reading

Toronto residents set to vote Monday on the next four years of civic leaders

Toronto’s municipal election campaign, marked by unprecedented provincial interference, ends Monday when… Continue reading

Former PQ minister Lise Payette remembered as role model for female politicians

MONTREAL — Members from across Quebec’s political spectrum gathered at a downtown… Continue reading

Most Read