The Canada Sevens women’s team are hoping to make the most of home advantage and claim a second straight title at the Langford Sevens this weekend, said coach John Tait.
The penultimate leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens will be a major factor in deciding which four teams qualify for the 2020 Olympics and who are relegated and replaced next season by Brazil.
Canada are coming off a triumphant tournament in Kitakyushu in Japan, which saw them win gold and narrow the lead on series leaders New Zealand (72 points) to six points. They leap-frogged the USA, who dropped to third with 64 points.
Speaking to BC Local News, the team’s head coach John Tait said home soil was the ideal stage by which to win a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics.
“It is pretty exciting for the players to play in front of a home crowd and their family and friends,” said 45-year-old Canadian Tait. “The players and fans as well have grown to appreciate how competitive this tournament has become.
“Our team set a goal to take one of the qualifying spots, I think we’re tracking pretty well towards that. Finishing in the top four is in this tournament would seal the deal.
“We were a little banged this time last year. The team is healthy now, and that is a plus.”
Though home field will be an advantage, Tait was wary of the strong opposition.
“The quality of players in this World Series is as high as it’s ever been,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s been the most competitive of any of the tournaments so far. It should be a good test.”
Canada’s Langford Sevens squad: Britt Benn, Emma Chown, Caroline Crossley, Bianca Farella, Julia Greenshields, Ghislaine Landry (captain), Kaili Lukan, Kayla Moleschi, Breanne Nicholas, Karen Paquin, Keyara Wardley and Charity Williams.
Canada face Brazil, Ireland and Australia in Pool A.
Main Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos, World Rugby