Scouting Report: Four to watch at the NWL Finals
Published Friday, June 24, 2011 5:00 am
by Andrew Smith, BC Rugby Communications

Vancouver, BC: For the first time in the history of the National Women's League Finals, British Columbia will be represented in the Tier Two competition with their provincial Under-23 team.

During the tournament which runs June 30th through July 3rd at UBC's Wolfson Fields, BC will face off against senior provincial sides from New Brunswick and Saskatchewan as well as the defending tier two national champs, Ontario's Under-23 'Junior Storm'.

With the tournament less than a week away, we caught up with BC's U23 Coach Dave Brown to identify four of the top local players to keep an eye on. The U23 squad will be led by a quartet of players with Junior National Team experience including their captain, University of Victoria standout Jesse Olynyk.

Jesse Olynyk
Position: Back Row
Club: Uvic Vikes
Jesse played at Sahali Secondary in Kamloops and has represented  BC U17s and U19s as well as Canada at the U20 level. Athletic and strong, she started as a back row but has also played lock and hooker.  She attended the National Camp at Shawnigan Lake in June and will captain the U23 team at the Nationals in BC.

Megan Hamm
Position: Scrum Half
Club: Abbotsford/ UBC Thunderbirds
Megan played for the BC U19 Women's Team for two years and following the Nationals in Ottawa, she was selected for the Canadian U20 team at Scrum Half.  She progressed to the NWL Senior Women’s squad in 2010 and shadowed National Team Scrum Half Julia Sugawara. She is a dynamic player with a strong pass and her athleticism allows her to play other positions on the field when necessary. She recently attended the Senior Women's National Camp at Shawnigan Lake School.

Randi Hunter
Position: Prop
Club: Uvic Vikes
Randi is a product of the BC U17 Women’s program and won a Gold Medal at the Nationals in Newfoundland in 2007. She has progressed through the provincial pathway and also represented BC  at the U19 Level as well as Canada U20s. Starting as a lock, she has moved to prop and found herself at the National  Camp in June. Beside her solid work in the sets, she is a mobile front five player and an excellent place kicker.

Beth McNeil
Position: Fly Half
Club: Capilano RFC

Beth is a product of the Carson Graham Eagles program and also graduated through BC U17s and U19s before representing Canada at the U20 level. A well rounded athlete (strong in basketball), Beth is becoming more skilled as a decision maker in the key role at fly half.  She has won provincial championships at the High School level at Carson, at the senior club level with Capilano RFC and a National CIS Championship with St Francis Xavier University.

For full BC rosters and more information on the 2011 National Women's League Finals visit www.nwlrugby.com

2011 NWL Schedule

Thursday, June 30 at UBC's Wolfson Fields
10:00am: (Tier 2) Saskatchewan vs New Brunswick 
11:00am: BC U20 vs Manitoba U20 
11:45am: (Tier 2) Ontario U23 vs BC U23
12:45pm: Ontario U20 vs Alberta U20   
1:30pm: (Tier 1 Semifinal) Alberta vs British Columbia
3:00pm: (Tier 1 Semifinal) Ontario vs Quebec Cariboux 

Friday, July 1 at UBC's Wolfson Fields
11:00am: (Tier 2) Ontario U23 vs New Brunswick 
11:00am: Ontario U20 vs Manitoba U20 
12:45pm: BC U20 vs Alberta U20  
12:45pm: (Tier 2) Saskatchewan vs BC U23 

Sunday, July 3 at UBC's Wolfson Fields
9:00am: Manitoba U20 vs Alberta U20
9:00am: (Tier 2) New Brunswick vs BC U23
10:45am: (Tier 2) Ontario U23 vs Saskatchewan 
10:45am: Ontario U20 vs BC U20   
10:45am: (Tier 1 Consolation Final) Loser Game 3 vs Loser Game 4 
12:30pm: (Tier 1 Championship Final)  Winner Game 3 vs Winner Game 4 


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