LANGFORD, BC – Five BC senior women's reps will be heading to France at the end of October to compete for Canada during the November Tour. The program is fresh off its first ever Nations Cup victory this past summer.
The tour itinerary includes a pair of fixtures against France on November 2nd and 5th as well as a November 13th clash against England at the Twickenham Stoop in London.
Head coach Francois Ratier's roster includes five BC products in Andrea Burk (Capilano RFC), Hilary Leith (Capilano RFC), Jess Dovanne (Velox RFC), Kayla Moleschi (William's Lake) and Brittany Waters (Meraloma).
"It's an awesome opportunity to play at this level," said North Vancouver's Burk who has 10 caps to her name. "The excitement of coming together on a tour and knowing that my team mates have been training hard every day like I have is very motivating."
The current crop of rising national team talent is still young, however, and will need more opportunities against the World's best to continue their development, Burk added.
"We are a young team that trains hard and has had a great start," Burk said. "But we aren't there yet and we need international competition such as these games to keep building and reach our goal of a 2014 World Cup win."
Players who perform in the next month will also be putting their hands up for selection for upcoming summer fixtures against the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
"This tour is an opportunity for our staff to watch the players under pressure, to continue our selection and to keep building our team culture," Ratier said in a Rugby Canada release. "The strength of this group is its unity… Only the players with the right spirit and attitude will be apart of the final selection for the World Cup in August 2014; we want energetic individuals and positive attitudes."
While this is a great opportunity for BC's provincial reps to wear the national jersey, the honour comes at a cost and donation pages have been set up to allow the players to focus on on-field success. To donate to the campaigns, visit the following links:
Andrea Burk donation page
"I continue to train hard as I strive to represent my country, wear our maple leaf over my heart on the field and build the game for the next generation of players. All of this has been possible because of the generous donations from clubs, provincial unions, family and many other individuals in the community. Words cannot express my gratitude for this support. Thank you for reading and for helping me make my dreams real."
Hilary Leith donation page
"I have been playing rugby for the better part of 15 years now and it has fast become a defining part of my life. My career began in high school, when I first suited up for the Carson Graham senior women’s team in North Vancouver, which led me to the Capilano Rugby Football Club in West Vancouver, which has been my home base since I first joined the club in 1999. Since then I have been a regular fixture on British Columbia provincial women’s teams as well as the Canadian National U-19 and U-23 teams. I am now currently playing for the Saracens in London, England and all of this work has been in service of my one true goal: representing my club, province and country in the Women’s World Cup in Paris, France in August, 2014."
Kayla Moleschi donation page
"I'm a Williams Lake,B.C., small town girl, looking to get some help to reach my goal of competing in the 2014 Fifteens World Cup! Three years ago I was given the most amazing opportunity to represent my country and wear the maple leaf proudly on my chest. Throughout those three years I have had some of the best moments and memories of my life. Most recently that inculdes taking second place at the Sevens Rugby World Cup this past summer and being selected to represent Canada in the 15s tour to France this October, which will make it my first cap for 15s!"
Jessica Dovanne donation page
"It's been 12 years since I first stepped on the field at Thomas Haney Secondary School to play my first game of Rugby. I had no idea that would be the beginning of what has become one of my strongest passions in my life. My rugby career has been full of ups and downs along the way, each success and setback has made me the player I am today and for that I am grateful. Playing for my country is my greatest honour".
NOTE: A page for Brittany Waters is not yet available.
Canada's Women's Fifteens November Tour Roster:
Elissa Alarie – (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Rugby Club) Trois-Rivieres, QC
Brittany Benn – (Guelph Redcoats) – Napanee, ON
Stephanie Bernier – (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec
Tyson Beukeboom – (Aurora Barbarians) Uxbridge, Ontario
Latoya Blackwood – (St. Anne de Bellevue) Montreal, QC
Andrea Burk – (Capilano RFC) North Vancouver, BC
Sammy Crandell – (Hornets RFC) Calgary, AB
Olivia DeMerchant – (Woodstock Wildmen) Mapledale, NB
Kim Donaldson – (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club) Toronto, ON
Jessica Dovanne – (Velox RFC) Victoria, BC
Bianca Farella – (Town of Mount Royal RFC)
Montreal, QC Megan Gibbs – (Markham Irish RFC) Barrie, ON
Magali Harvey – (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Mary Jane Kirby – (Highland RFC) Brampton, ON
Ghislaine Landry – (Toronto Scottish RFC) Toronto, ON
Hilary Leith – (Saracens/Capilano RFC) North Vancouver, BC
Kayla Mack – (Wild Oats RFC) Saskatoon, SK
Kayla Moleschi – (Williams Lake Rustlers) Williams Lake, BC
Jacey Murphy – (Aurora Barbarians) Alliston, ON
Karen Paquin – (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Marie-Pier Pinault-Ried – (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Kelly Russell – (Capt) (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
Laura Russell – (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
Maria Samson – (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, AB
Amanda Thornborough - (Brandon Barbarians RFC) Brandon, MB
Jackie Titley – Montreal, QC
Brittany Waters – (Meraloma Athletic Club) Vancouver, BC
Asya Bartley – (Barrhaven Scottish RFC) Ottawa, ON
Caitlin Beaton – (Fergus Highland RFC) Clavering, ON
Katie McNally – (Guelph Redcoats) – Guelph, ON
Claragh Pegg – (Kingston Panthers RFC) Barrie, ON
Julia Sugawara – (Burnaby Lake) Surrey, BC
Julianne Zussman – (Town of Mount Royal RFC) Montreal, QC
Francois Ratier, Head Coach
Gary Dukelow, Forwards Coach
Colette McAuley, Backs Coach
John Tait, Technical Advisor
Adrienne Stinson, Physiotherapist
Steve MacKinnon, Strength and Conditioning Coach
Manager, Meg Howat
Women's November Tour Schedule: Canada vs. France November 2 Pontarlier, France KO TBD Canada vs. France November 5 Amnéville, France KO TBD Canada vs. England November 13 Twickenham, England The Twickenham Stoop 7pm local time (2pm ET/11am ET)