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

VIDEO: Community ‘comes together’ at opening ceremonies

The nation will focus its eyes on Red Deer for the next… Continue reading

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

THE CANADIAN PRESS HOUSTON, B.C. — Coastal GasLink says it has suspended… Continue reading

Syrian chocolatier to hire, mentor refugees: ‘They come here to contribute’

ANTIGONISH, N.S. — A one-time Syrian refugee who founded a thriving Nova… Continue reading

RCMP in Kamloops, B.C., say robbery and kidnap victim was found safe

THE CANADIAN PRESS KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The Mounties say a woman was… Continue reading

Saskatchewan NDP calls for plan to reduce child hunger, cites high food bank use

THE CANADIAN PRESS SASKATOON — Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili says the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Community ‘comes together’ at opening ceremonies

The nation will focus its eyes on Red Deer for the next… Continue reading

South African activists try to protect endangered pangolins

JOHANNESBURG — As World Pangolin Day is marked around the globe, Saturday,… Continue reading

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt, B.C.

Greg and Gerry Latham spent Friday morning scrambling to pack up family… Continue reading

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual assault: British newspaper

LONDON — A British newspaper says police in London are investigating an… Continue reading

Graham: U.S. should be stronger on Canadians detained in China

MUNICH — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday the response by the… Continue reading

Conservative leaders to attend pro-pipeline rally in Saskatchewan

By Stephanie Taylor THE CANADIAN PRESS MOOSOMIN, Sask. — Federal Tory leader… Continue reading

Games athletes making themselves at home at RDC

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

Welcome message from the mayor

On behalf of Red Deer city council, the City of Red Deer… Continue reading

Most Read