Canada’s Women’s sevens rugby team is poised to make some noise in front of the home fans.
The HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens tournament, which takes place May 11-12 in Langford, will provide a great opportunity for the team to punch a ticket to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, noted John Tait, the team’s head coach since 2011. The top four teams at the end of the 2018-19 World Rugby Sevens Series automatically qualify for the most storied competition in sports. Canada, currently sitting in second place, is coming off a gold medal performance at a world series tournament in April in Kitakyushu, Japan.
“Our team set a goal to take one of the qualifying spots,” Tait said. “I think we’re tracking pretty well toward that. Finishing in the top four in this tournament would seal the deal.”
Tait said the level of competition in this year’s event exceeds that of previous tournaments. “The quality of players in this world series is as high as it’s ever been. It’s been the most competitive of any of the tournaments so far. It should be a good test.”
Team Canada should benefit from being in better shape this time around compared to last year’s team, Tait noted. “We were a little banged up at this time last year. The team is healthy now, and that’s a plus.”
Tait said the team has been looking forward to this year’s tournament all season long. “It’s pretty exciting for the players to play in front of a home crowd and their family and friends,” he added. “The players and the fans as well have grown to appreciate how competitive this tournament has become.”
Canada will join Australia, Ireland and Brazil in Pool A at the upcoming tournament at Westhills Stadium in Langford. England, New Zealand, Russia and China will compete in Pool B, while France, USA, Fiji and Spain comprise the teams in Pool C.
Canada best showing in the tournament during the past four seasons was a second-place finish.
Check out canadasevens.com for tickets and more information.