As the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series competition passes the halfway mark, the race for the coveted World Series title continues—and it’s headed straight to the newly-renovated Westhills Stadium for the weekend of May 11 and 12! This round is the second to last tournament before the finale in Biarritz, France in June. Currently, the team to beat is New Zealand who is leading the women’s series standings (60 points). The USA is in second place (48 points) with Canada tied with Australia in third place (46 points).
“Although the team has had mixed results over the past 4 years at their home tournament in Langford, these women are always looking to win whenever they step on the field,” says Bryan Kelly, Manager, Media Relations and Communications with Rugby Canada. “It’s their full-time job. Funding from various government programming sources means that they can devote all their time and attention to their training and their performance on the field. They don’t need to get part time jobs.”
Another advantage for the rugby teams is that they no longer have to share a facility with other sport teams as they had to do in the past. Since February 2018, all the rugby teams train in their own dedicated space, the ‘Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre,’ located in the Westhills area of town.
“Our women’s team works tirelessly to be the best in the world,” says Kelly. “[They have] physios, high performance training coaches, managers, therapists, medical staff, nutritionists, and a full-time analyst who monitors every second of their training – on and off the pitch. Everything that’s needed is being done so they can continue to compete at a world-class level all year long.”
It will be an especially intense competition for the women this year, one that you really do not want to miss. That’s because the 2019 HSBC World Series is a principle route for Olympic qualification. So, if the Canadian team wins in Langford and Biarritz and finishes the season in the top four, they officially secure their ticket to Tokyo, 2020.
What a rare opportunity it is for those of us living in the West Shore to cheer on these amazing women as they compete at the highest level for the coveted World Series title—and a run at an Olympic qualification. Be there!
Here are the 11 core teams you will get to see in action at Westhills Stadium as they compete for the world title: Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, New Zealand, Ireland, China, Spain, USA, Russia.
Save the Date for the May 11-12 Langford series and get your tickets early here!