Braeden Willis

The University of Victoria Vikes women’s rugby team finished fifth at the U SPORTS National Championships in early November and with little recovery time three Vikes athletes were selected to represent Rugby Canada with the women’s 15s national team on their tour to the United Kingdom from Nov. 11-28.

Paige Farries and Chanelle Edwards-Challenger both currently play for the Vikes while Gabrielle Senft is taking a year away from school to concentrate on her opportunities with national team.

Edwards-Challenger led the Vikes in tries through the Canada West regular season scoring three times in five games. Farries finished the regular season without a try but scored twice in a pivotal win over UBC in the Canada West semi-final.

In her first season with the Vikes, Senft was named the U SPORTS Rookie of the Year in 2015. The former Notre Dame Hound has been a member of the Canada Maple Leafs squad since 2016 and this tour marked her first opportunity with the senior national team.

Senft started at flank in Canada’s 27-19 loss against England to begin the tour, earning her first cap with the national 15s team. The Regina native received her second start of the tour in Canada’s third match against Wales and scored for the Canadians in their 38-21 defeat of the Welsh.

Originally named as a non-travelling reserve, Edwards-Challenger found herself on the roster after a few other players became unavailable due to injury. The fourth-year from Calgary was named as one of the starting flankers in the Canada “A” team victory over England “A” by a final score of 35-14.

Recovering from an injury, Farries didn’t see her first action of the tour until Canada’s final game against Scotland. The Red Deer native was named to the roster as a reserve and was subbed in during the second half. Canada came away victorious over Scotland winning by a score of 28-25.

With the 15s season over, the Vikes now begin to prepare for the Canada West 7s competition beginning in Edmonton on Jan. 19

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