Photo by Louise Hodgson-Jones

The historic Hatley Castle in the grounds of Royal Road University was the setting for the Captain’s meet and greet today, just two days prior to the HSBC Women’s Rugby 7’s. There were smiles and jokes all around as the 12 Captain’s posed for photographs and interviews, but come Saturday the rivalries will continue when play starts at Westhills Stadium in Langford.

Canadian Captain Ghislaine Landry is looking forward to playing at home after a disappointing Commonwealth Games and the last World Cup in Tokyo. “Japan was a disappointment in terms of results, but it was just one tournament and we have come away with it knowing we can be better. We know we are capable of a better finish,” she said. Canada will open on Saturday against Australia – a team they don’t usually meet until the knock-out rounds. “For us this will be a good start as you need to have a solid first day.” Meeting New Zealand will also be a challenge, Landry admits, but: “At this point in the tournament every team is competitive. There used to be the giants in the game, but now on any given day any time is winning and for the sport that is exciting.”

Shannon Parry, Australian Captain, is looking forward to the weekend. Australia are Olympic Champions and runners-up to New Zealand in the Commonwealth Games, a fact that Parry doesn’t pay much attention to. “The Olympics were two years ago and at the Commonwealth Games, the kiwis were the better team on the day. The best thing is we get to play them again and again, they are arch rivals and every time we meet them we know it is going to be a fierce battle.”

England had a big win against Canada in the Commonwealth Games and is looking forward to meeting them again this weekend. “Everything clicked for us at the Games and it showed all the hard work we had put in,” said Abbie Brown, England Captain. “We peaked at that tournament but we have some changes in the team and a few injuries so we hope to peak again in the World Cup.”

England have a tough pool in Fiji, New Zealand and Brazil, but Brown is optimistic. “Every pool is tough at the moment and whoever we face on day two we need to outsmart them and just play our game.”

Canada open against Australia on Saturday at 11:36 am. Followed by Spain then Ireland.

For a full schedule and information go to: http://www.canadasevens.com/womens

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