OTTAWA (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport, in conjunction with Rugby Canada, announced Friday the 12 student-athletes and four staff members who will represent Canada in women’s rugby sevens at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia.
Women’s rugby sevens will make its Universiade debut in Kazan, with the inaugural tournament set for July 14 to 17.
Canada has enjoyed success in the sport at the FISU world university championship, a biennial competition which started in 2004. The Canadian women won the first two tourneys in 2004 (Beijing, China) and 2006 (Rome, Italy), before finishing second in 2008 (Cordoba, Spain), fourth in 2010 (Porto, Portugal) and sixth in 2012 (Brive, France).
“This is a first for rugby to have been invited to compete at the Universiade and it is exciting to have that opportunity to be part of the ‘Student Olympics’. I am honoured to have been selected to coach this team,” said Canadian head coach Matt Parrish from the University of Alberta, who was an assistant coach with the FISU championship team in 2004 and the silver medal-winning squad in 2008.
“We had a list of close to 30 student-athletes at the start of the process and although I am obviously delighted at the quality of players we had to choose from, it made selection very tough. I am pleased that we have representation from the four CIS regional associations and have three players of the year in Chelsea Guthrie, Karla Telidetzki and Brianna Miller.”
Guthrie, a scrum half from Edmonton who plays for Parrish at the U of A, was named Canada West MVP at the end of the last CIS season. Miller, a fly half from Pointe-Claire, Que., was the RSEQ player of the year for McGill, while Telidetzki, a native of Edmonton who plays wing for Toronto, was voted MVP of the OUA East division.
Rounding out the all-CIS roster heading to Kazan are McGill prop Caroline Suchorski, Saint Mary’s prop Jean Baker, Victoria scrum half Kehla Guimond, Laval hooker Kathleen Keller, York hooker Tiera Thomas-Reynolds, Guelph centre Shannon Spurrell, Carleton wing Natasha Smith, as well as back Sarah Meng and centre Natasha Watcham-Roy, both from uOttawa.
Five team members have FISU championship experience, including Guthrie, Telidetzki, Baker and Thomas-Reynolds in 2012 and Watcham-Roy in 2010.
Telidetzki represented Canada at the NACRA Sevens in 2011, while Suchorski wore the Maple Leaf at the Las Vegas Invitational in February.
“With this many players having international experience, we will definitely be aiming for a podium finish,” said Parrish, who was born in Newcastle, England, and now calls Sherwood Park, Alta., home.
In addition to Parrish, the support staff is comprised of assistant coach Joe Costello from York, team leader Meaghan Howat from Rugby Canada, and therapist Caitlin McCuaig.
In Kazan, Canada will compete in the preliminary round in Pool A against tournament host Russia (July 14), Japan (July 14), France (July 15) and Ukraine (July 15). France claimed FISU silver on home turf in 2012.
Reigning FISU champion Great Britain, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, the United States and China will battle in Pool B.
7’s Position Name University Hometown
Prop Jean Baker Saint
Mary’s Argyle Shore, P.E.I.
Scrum Half Kehla Guimond Victoria Victoria, B.C.
Scrum Half Chelsea Guthrie Alberta Edmonton, Alta.
Hooker Kathleen Keller Laval Quebec City, Que.
Back Sarah Meng Ottawa Waterloo, Ont.
Fly Half Brianna Miller McGill Pointe-Claire, Que.
Hooker Tiera Thomas-Reynolds York Scarborough, Ont.
Wing Natasha Smith Carleton Ottawa, Ont.
Centre Shannon Spurrell Guelph Haley Station, Ont.
Prop Caroline Suchorski McGill Kirkland, Que.
Wing Karla Telidetzki Toronto Edmonton, Alta.
Centre Natasha Watcham-Roy Ottawa Gatineau, Que.
Position Name Affiliation Hometown
Head Coach Matt
Parrish Alberta Sherwood Park,
Ass. Coach Joe Costello York Toronto, Ont.
Team Leader Meaghan Howat Rugby Canada Langford, B.C.
Therapist Caitlin McCuaig - Cobourg, Ont.
POOLS & SCHEDULE:
Pool A: Russia, France, Japan, CANADA, Ukraine
Pool B: Great Britain, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, USA, China
July 14: Canada vs. Russia
July 14: Canada vs. Japan
July 15: Canada vs. France
July 15: Canada vs. Ukraine
July 16: Placement matches
July 17: Tournament final
About the Summer Universiade
The Summer Universiade is an international multi-sport event that takes place every two years and is second only to the Olympic Games in the number of participating athletes and countries. The Universiade is open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.
About Rugby Canada
Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of rugby union in Canada. Rugby Football has a long history in Canada dating back to its initial appearance in the 1860s. Since 1974, Rugby Canada has been a permanent fixture on the global rugby scene, including trips to each of the six IRB Rugby World Cups. As a regular on the IRB Sevens Circuit, Canada continues to climb the world rankings and challenge the dominant rugby nations in both versions of the game.
To support the growth of rugby at the grass-roots level and to ensure there are elite programs for prospering young rugby players to become involved with, Rugby Canada has put an emphasis on developing its junior programs. Our goal is to develop and train a competitive team for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
We also continue to be a world leader in the development of women’s rugby. Currently the women’s teams at the national, club and high school levels are flourishing all across the country.
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 54 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on: