MARCOUSSIS, FRANCE – Canada Women’s Head Coach Francois Ratier has announced his starting roster to take on Spain to open the 2014 IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup in France on Friday, August 1st.
Friday’s contest marks the first of five games to be played in 17 days, with Canada set to face Samoa on August 5 and England on August 9 during the pool play. The top team from each of the three pools will advance to the semi-finals - along with the team with the next highest match points - on the 13th and the finals on the 17th.
Spain will be a relatively unknown opponent for Ratier’s side, having last faced off at the World Cup in St. Albert, Albert in 2006 and in Glamorgan, Wales in 1991; Canada was victorious 19-4 and 79-0 respectively.
“We’re expecting Spain to play a lot of rugby tomorrow with a lot of ball in play, fast pace and a lot of running, similar to the style we play and they play with no fear,” added Ratier.
“This is the World Cup. And it’s important for us to set the tone tomorrow with a big effort against Spain. We need to focus on our game and don’t change our style or philosophy because it’s been working – just push up the intensity.”
Ratier’s side has benefitted from strong opposition in the last 12 months, having played each of the top women’s rugby nations since last year’s Nations Cup campaign, including New Zealand, Australia, England, France, South Africa and USA.
Thus far in 2014, Canada defeated USA on a 48-point aggregate during their two-game CANAM Series on Vancouver Island in April, before defeating Australia and losing twice to the defending World Champion Black Ferns in June in New Zealand.
Canada arrived in France last Monday and spent last week on the coast of France in Concarneau, before arriving in Marcoussis earlier in the week.
“The training since we arrived in France has been going really well and I think we’re going in the right direction and the team is exactly how we were when we returned home from New Zealand in June: connected, strong and excited,” said Ratier.
Canada finished the last World Cup in a disappointing sixth place four years ago in England, and ended the 2006, 2002 and 1998 campaigns in fourth place.
Kick off is schedule for 3pm local time (9am ET/6am PT) and LIVE coverage begins on TSN 15 minutes before the match gets underway.
Fans travelling to the #WRWC2014 pool stages in Marcoussis are able to access free shuttles to the ground from nearby Massy train station. CLICK HERE for more information.
CANADA’S STARTING ROSTER TO FACE SPAIN:
1. Laura Russell, (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
2. Kim Donaldson, (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club) Toronto, ON
3. Hilary Leith, (Capilano RFC) Vancouver, BC
4. Maria Samson, (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, AB
5. Latoya Blackwood, (St. Anne de Bellevue) Montreal, QC
6. Barbara Mervin, (Velox RFC) Peterborough, ON
7. Karen Paquin, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
8. Kelly Russell, Captain (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
9. Stephanie Bernier, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, Quebec
10. Emily Belchos, (Markham Irish RFC) Barrie, ON
11. Julianne Zussman, (Town of Mount Royal RFC) Montreal, QC
12. Andrea Burk, (Capilano RFC) North Vancouver, BC
13. Mandy Marchak, (Capilano RFC) Winnipeg, MB
14. Magali Harvey, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
15. Elissa Alarie, (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Rugby Club) Trois-Rivieres, QC
16. Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid, (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
17. Olivia DeMerchant, (Woodstock Wildmen) Mapledale, NB
18. Kayla Mack, (Wild Oats RFC) Saskatoon, SK
19. Jacey Murphy, (Aurora Barbarians) Alliston, ON
20. Julia Sugawara, (Burnaby Lake RFC) Surrey, BC
21. Brittany Benn, (Guelph Redcoats) Napanee, ON
22. Jessica Dovanne, (Velox RFC) Victoria, BC
Tyson Beukeboom, (Aurora Barbarians) Uxbridge, Ontario
Mary-Jane Kirby, (Highland RFC) Brampton, ON
Amanda Thornborough, (Brandon Barbarians RFC) Brandon, MB
Brittany Waters, (Meraloma Athletic Club) Vancouver, BC
Canada’s Women’s Team Staff:
Head Coach: Francois Ratier
Forwards Coach: Gary Dukelow
Backs Coach: Colette McAuley
Technical Advisor: John Tait
Strength and Conditioning: Steve Mackinnon
Physiotherapist: Adrienne Stinson
Manager: Meaghan Howat
Analyst: James Kent
Media Manager: Bryan Kelly
WRWC 2014 BROADCAST SCHEDULE ON TSN:
Canada vs. Spain – Aug. 1 at 8:45 a.m. ET on TSN
Canada vs. Samoa – Aug. 5 at 10:45 a.m. ET on TSN
Canada vs. England – Aug. 9 at 9:30 a.m. ET on TSN2
Semifinal #1 – Aug. 13 at 11:45 a.m. ET on TSN
Semifinal #2 – Aug. 13 at 2:30 p.m. ET on TSN
Finals – Aug. 17 at 12:30 p.m. ET on TSN2
RUGBY CANADA WOMEN’S FIFTEENS 2014 FIXTURES
CANADA 51 – 7 USA
April 15, 2014
Shawnigan Lake School, Mill Bay, BC
CANADA 14 – 10 USA
April 19, 2014
Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC
CANADA 22-0 AUSTRALIA
June 6, 2014
Tauranga Domain, Tauranga, New Zealand
CANADA 8-16 NEW ZEALAND
June 10, 2014
Tauranga Domain, Tauranga, New Zealand
CANADA 21 – 33 NEW ZEALAND
June 14, 2014
Rugby Park, Whakatane, New Zealand
WOMEN’S RWC – CANADA VS SPAIN
August 1, 2014
WOMEN’S RWC – CANADA VS SAMOA
August 5, 2014
WOMEN’S RWC – CANADA VS ENGLAND
August 9, 2014
WOMEN’S RWC SEMI-FINALS
August 13, 2014
WOMEN’S RWC FINALS
August 17, 2014