Experienced pair back for Canada and USA
Captain Jen Kish and Mandy Marchak will return for Canada at the Atlanta Sevens on 15-16 February after missing the opening round of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series through injury.
Canada finished fourth in Dubai despite that relatively young and inexperienced team, but will travel to Atlanta with 11 of the 12 players that reached the final of Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow last June.
Kish, a nominee for the IRB Women’s Sevens Player of the Year in 2013, and Marchak both turned out for the Maple Leafs development team at the Vegas Invitational Sevens last month and coach John Tait is happy to welcome them back.
“They attract multiple defenders because they are so tough one on one, which creates time and space for others,” said Tait. “Both are also tough defenders who create a lot of turnovers for us to attack off of.”
Canada have finished in the top four at the last three Women’s Sevens World Series events and that is something Tait hopes to build on at a tournament which sees his side drawn with Dubai winners Australia, hosts USA and China in Pool A.
“We have introduced some new structures on attack and defence that will take some time to hone, especially under pressure of competition,” said Tait. “We need to keep building them throughout each match and over the course of the season.”
The one newcomer to the squad is 19-year-old Paige Farries who has impressed Tait while playing for the Maple Leafs over the last three months.
“Paige has all the tools,” said Tait. “She has shown a lot of glimpses of what she can do with her size and speed in scrimmages these past few months. Once she marries that physical potential she has shown with some consistency in her play, she could be a real weapon for us in the future.”
Canada women’s Sevens squad: Arielle Dubissette-Borrice, (Toronto Scottish RFC), Bianca Farella, (Town of Mount Royal RFC), Paige Farries (Druid RFC), Magali Harvey, (Club de Rugby Quebec), Jennifer Kish, (Edmonton Rockers RFC, captain), Ghislaine Landry, (Toronto Scottish RFC), Mandy Marchak, (Capilano RFC), Kayla Moleschi, (Williams Lake Rustlers), Karen Paquin, (Club de Rugby Quebec), Kelly Russell, (Toronto Nomads), Ashley Steacy, (Lethbridge Rugby Club), Brittany Waters, (Meraloma Athletic Club).
Experienced duo return for USA
USA Women’s Eagles Sevens head coach Ric Suggitt welcomes back experienced duo Christy Ringgenberg and Irene Gardner for their home round of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Atlanta.
Both missed the opening round in Dubai in November when USA finished seventh after losses to New Zealand, Russia and England to fall short of Suggitt’s aim of finishing “in the top four of every tournament”.
The Atlanta Sevens, which take place at the Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University on 15-16 February, will see the hosts face Canada, Dubai champions Australia and China in Pool A.
The Women's Eagles Sevens will hope to go one better than they did in last year's American round of the Women's Sevens World Series when they lost the final in Houston to England.
“Christy and Irene were obviously a big part of the team at the Rugby World Cup Sevens,” Suggitt said. “They’re both non-resident athletes, but they’re capable of staying disciplined at home and making sure they are fit.
“We purposefully left them out of [Dubai] to give our younger players, our newer players, a really good, early look at what the level of competition was going to be like, because we don’t have enough competition here to actually simulate it.”
Jessica Javelet is the only other player in the 12-strong squad for the events in Atlanta and Sao Paulo a week later who was not involved in the opening round.
The Women’s Eagles may face Canada in Atlanta but the neighbours have spent time together this month at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. The Canadians spent nearly two weeks training at the facility and facing their hosts.
“Canada’s had our number for the last three or four years,” explained Suggitt. “Having them come down was beneficial for both teams. For us, we got more confidence by knowing them a little better, by being around them a lot more.”
USA Women’s Eagles Sevens squad: Deven Owsiany, Kelly Griffin, Jillion Potter, Rebekah Siebach, Christy Ringgenberg, Lauren Doyle, Victoria Folayan, Amelia Villines, Irene Gardner, Dana Meschisi, Megan Bonny, Jessica Javelet.