Two top world-ranked women’s rugby teams set to clash on Wednesday in Dublin
Bryan Kelly, Rugby Canada
Canada’s senior women’s head coach Francois Ratier has kept the same starting XV for Wednesday’s titanic clash with the New Zealand Black Ferns. After beating Ireland 48-7 Saturday, Canada moved back to No. 2 in the World Rugby rankings making Wednesday’s game a pivotal first vs. second matchup.
“We know they’re strong and that they’re No. 1 in the world,” Ratier said. “We have to sit down and see where they have some weaknesses but they don’t have too many.”
Carolyn McEwen, Laura Russell and DaLeaka Menin will again lead Canada up front while Kayla Mack and Latoya Blackwood start at lock. Jacey Grusnick and Karen Paquin start at flanker with captain Kelly Russell at No. 8.
Chelsea Guthrie starts at scrum-half with Emily Belchos at fly-half. Elissa Alarie and Magali Harvey are on the wings while Andrea Burk and Alex Tessier start at centre. Julianne Zussman is at fullback. Canada ran in seven tries against No .5 ranked Ireland as Zussman (2), Menin, Paquin, Belchos, Harvey and Laura Russell all touched down while Burk kicked 13 points.
Canada and New Zealand were recently drawn into the same pool for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland. In 11 previous meetings, Canada has never beaten New Zealand. The Black Ferns defeated reigning World Cup champions England 25-20 on Saturday in the first game of their tour.
“They’re in our pool for the World Cup next year so we want to send them a message,” Blackwood said. “We’re going to put up a fight and show them what Canadian rugby looks like.”
Wednesday’s game will kick off at 8am ET/5am PT and can be seen LIVE by clicking here. Canada wraps up its November Tour on Saturday when they face England at Twickenham.
Canada versus New Zealand:
- Carolyn McEwen, Burnaby Lake RC (Vancouver, BC)
- Laura Russell, Toronto Nomads (Bolton, ON)
- DaLeaka Menin, Calgary Hornets (Vulcan, AB)
- Kayla Mack, Saskatoon Wild Oats (Saskatoon, SK)
- Latoya Blackwood, Westshore RFC (Montreal, QC)
- Jacey Grusnick, Aurora Barbarians (Alliston, ON)
- Karen Paquin, Club de Rugby de Quebec (Quebec City, QC)
- Kelly Russell, Captain, Toronto Nomads (Bolton, ON)
- Chelsea Guthrie, Stratchona Druids (Edmonton, AB)
- Emily Belchos, Westshore RFC (Innisfil, ON)
- Magali Harvey, Club de Rugby de Quebec (Quebec City, QC)
- Andrea Burk, Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
- Alex Tessier, Montreal Barbarians (Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton, QC)
- Elissa Alarie, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC (Trois Rivieres, QC)
- Julianne Zussman, Castaway Wanderers (Montreal, QC)
- Julia Folk, Regina Rogues (Regina, SK)
- Demi Stamatakis, SFU (Vancouver, BC)
- Olivia DeMerchant, Woodstock Wildmen (Mapledale, NB)
- Tyson Beukeboom, Aurora Barbarians/Cowichan RFC (Uxbridge, ON )
- Barbara Mervin, Westshore RFC (Peterborough, ON)
- Brianna Miller, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC (Pointe-Claire, QC)
- Anais Holly, TMRRFC (Montreal, QC)
- Brittany Waters, Meraloma Athletic Club (Vancouver, BC)
Gillian Boag, Capilano RFC (Calgary, AB)
Fabiola Forteza, Club de Rugby de Quebec (Quebec City, QC)
Mackenzie Higgs, Aurora Barbarians (Aurora, ON)
Frederique Rajotte, Markham Irish (Markham, ON)
Head Coach: Francois Ratier
Assistant Coach: Shaun Allen
Assistant Coach: Colette McAuley
Scrum Coach: Gary Dukelow
Therapist: Nicole Ainsworth
Manager: Meg Howat
Analyst: James Kent
Media: Bryan Kelly
Canada’s Senior Women’s Schedule:
Canada 48 – 7 Ireland — Nov. 19 — UCD Bowl, Ireland
Canada vs. New Zealand — Nov. 23 — Donnybrook Stadium, Ireland
Canada vs. England — Nov. 26 — Twickenham, England
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 eight Men's Rugby World Cups and seven Women’s Rugby World Cups. As a regular on the Men’s and Women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Canada continues to climb the world rankings and challenge the dominant rugby nations in both versions of the game. Canada’s Women’s Rugby Sevens Team also made history in 2016, capturing the first-ever Bronze Medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
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 competitive teams for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland, the 2018 Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, the 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan and 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.