Canada v Wales #WRWC2017 Preview

August 12, 2017

Canada v Wales #WRWC2017 Preview


Photo: Steve Blackburn of Canada WRWC 2017 team


Photo: Welsh Rugby Union

Doug Coil

The second round of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 action will feature Canada against Wales tomorrow, August 13 at Billings Park (17:00 local) (12pm ET).

Canada is ranked third in the World Rugby rankings, while Wales is currently 10th. Canada comes into the match after an historic 98-0 win against Hong Kong in which the Canadians set a program record for most points scored in a match in the WRWC. Wales enters the match after losing to New Zealand 44-12.

This will be the third time Canada and Wales have met in the WRWC. The two sides previously met in 1991, when they played to a 9-9 draw and in 1994, when Wales edged Canada 11-5. Both games were also in pool play.

The match will be streamed live for viewed outside of Canada and Wales on In Canada, the match can watched live on TSN/RDS. In Wales, the match will be streamed live on the S4C website and on its Chwaraeon Facebook page.


Canada Head Coach Francois Ratier has made one change from their opening win against Hong Kong, as Julianne Zussman returns to the starting XV at fullback, with Elissa Alarie moving to the wing, where she will replace Frederique Rajotte.

Zussman is the second-most capped player on the Canadian roster, trailing only captain Kelly Russell. The veteran fullback will earn her 40th cap and enters the game second only to Magali Harvey amongst the team’s all-time leading try-scorers.

The back three of Zussman, Harvey and Alarie, accounted for seven of Canada’s 16 tries against Hong Kong. Harvey had 41 points in the competition-opener, including five tries, and enters Sunday’s game atop the WRWC leaderboard for both points and tries.

The Canadian pack remains unchanged with Carolyn McEwen, Laura Russell and DaLeaka Menin in the front row, Kayla Mack and Latoya Blackwood locks and the back row will have Jacey Grusnick, Karen Paquin and Kelly Russell.

The halfbacks will have Lori Josephson, who made her World Cup debut against Hong Kong, paring with fly half Emily Belchos. Veteran Andrea Burk and youngster Alex Tessier will be the centers.

Canada enters Sunday’s match tied with New Zealand atop Pool A, with both teams having collected the full five points in their first outings.

Kick-off is set for 12pm ET/9am PT on Sunday and you can watch live on TSN/RDS.


Wales Head Coach Rowland Phillips has made two changes in their stating XV from their opening loss against New Zealand for their Women’s Rugby World Cup pool match against Canada tomorrow at Billings Park (17:00 local) (Noon ET).

In Wales, the match will be streamed live on the S4C website and on its Chwaraeon Facebook page.

Rowland Phillips indicated to the Welsh Rugby Union that “We’ll be looking to cut out the unforced errors against Canada, who are a well-organised, strong and very athletic side. We’ve spoken a lot about taking positives out of the game against New Zealand, and that’s something we’ve been working on in the build-up to tomorrow’s match.

“We’re lucky as coaches to be overseeing a highly motivated group of players. Almost as soon as we came off the pitch on Wednesday, we started looking at what we needed to do to challenge what is clearly a very good Canada side. That preparation – which has included a lot of hard work on the training pitch – means we’ll take to the field full of confidence tomorrow.”

Wales squad v Canada:
1 Caryl Thomas 2 Carys Phillips (c) 3 Amy Evans 4 Rebecca Rowe 5 Mel Clay 6 Alisha Butchers 7 Rachel Taylor 8 Sioned Harries 9 Sian Moore 10 Elinor Snowsill 11 Jess Kavanagh-Williams 12 Hannah Jones 13 Gemma Rowland 14 Elen Evans 15 Dyddgu Hywel 16 Morfudd Ifans 17 Cerys Hale 18 Meg York 19 Siwan Lillicrap 20 Shona Powell-Hughes 21 Keira Bevan 22 Robyn Wilkins 23 Jodie Evans
Canada v Wales: 1. Carolyn McEwen 2. Laura Russell 3. DaLeaka Menin 4. Kayla Mack 5. Latoya Blackwood 6. Jacey Grusnick 7. Karen Paquin 8. Kelly Russell (Captain)  9. Lori Josephson 10. Emily Belchos 11. Elissa Alarie (Vice Captain) 12. Andrea Burk 13. Alex Tessier 14. Magali Harvey 15. Julianne Zussman 16. Jane Kirby 17. Brittany Kassil 18. Olivia DeMerchant 19. Tyson Beukeboom 20. Barbara Mervin 21. Chelsea Guthrie 22. Amanda Thornborough 23. Brittany Waters

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant