LANGFORD, BC - Canada’s women’s sevens team head coach John Tait has announced his roster for the upcoming Sydney Sevens, which kicks off on January 25 in Sydney, Australia. Canada enters the tournament as defending champions after capturing the inaugural title last season, Canada’s third HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series cup title. The team currently sits fourth in the series standings through one event after finishing fourth at the Dubai Sevens in early December.
Tait has made one change to the roster that finished fourth in Dubai, as Olivia Apps replaces Emma Chown to earn her first cap with the senior team.
“Olivia is a tenacious young player, much like Kayla Moleschi in her approach,” said Tait. “She still has a lot of development in her but we want to give her a taste of the series level and all that goes with it and get a real measure of her there." BC athletes Caroline Crossley, Kayla Moleschi and Tausani Levale all retain their places in the squad, a noteworthy achievement for Levale who is in her rookie year with the Women's Sevens team.
It will have been almost eight weeks between events by the time Canada kick off in Sydney. “It is a bit of a gap between the tournaments which means that teams, including ourselves, have had a good look at where we can make improvements and refine our play a little more for this one,” said Tait. “It has been a pretty cold and wet period here and we were forced indoors with some snow and ice for some of our training but we made the best of it and I’m pleased with how we have prepared for this. We are getting into Sydney a few days earlier than normal to hopefully help us adjust to the time and big change of temperature.”
So while the heat will be turned up in Sydney, Tait is feeling cool and calm heading into the tournament as defending champions.
“No extra pressure,” said Tait. “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.”
Canada will be grouped with Fiji, Ireland and Russia in Pool C.
“It is definitely the most physical pool so we want to be clinical with our possession in that heat and make sure that we get everybody contributing on day one,” said Tait. “All three of those teams can play and particularly Fiji and Russia have some home run hitters so we need to defend well and limit their ball on attack.”
The Sydney Sevens will be streamed LIVE on CBC Sports at www.cbcsports.ca or on their mobile app "CBC Sports" on iOs and Android
Canada’s Sydney Sevens Roster (Name - Club, Hometown):
Olivia Apps – Aurora Barbarians (Lindsay, ON)
Britt Benn – Guelph Redcoats (Napanee, ON)
Caroline Crossley – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
Hannah Darling – Peterborough Pagans (Warsaw, ON)
Julia Greenshields – Sarnia Saints (Sarnia, ON)
Jen Kish – Edmonton Rockers (Edmonton, ON)
Tausani Levale – Abbotsford Griffins (Abbotsford, BC)
Ghislaine Landry – Toronto Scottish (Toronto, ON)
Megan Lukan – Unattached (Barrie, ON)
Kayla Moleschi – Williams Lake Rustlers (Williams Lake, BC)
Breanne Nicholas – London St. Georges RFC (Blenheim, ON)
Natasha Watcham-Roy – Hull Volant (Gatineau, QC)
Canada's Sydney Sevens Day 1 Schedule (Thursday, January 25):
Canada vs Fiji at 6:22 pm ET / 3:22 pm PT
Canada vs Ireland at 9:06 pm ET / 6:06 pm PT
Canada vs Russia at 11:28 pm ET / 8:28 pm PT
Canada's Sydney Sevens Day 2 Schedule (Friday, January 26):