Some familiar faces will be donning Team Canada jerseys this weekend and hitting the turf at Westhills Stadium in Langford.
John Tait, Canada women’s sevens head coach, announced his roster for the fourth installment of the HSBC sevens series, May 12 to 13, with a former University of Victoria Vikes player and a member of the Castaway Wanders among those named.
Pam Buisa will be making her debut, replacing Olivia Apps.
Buisa played a pivotal role in helping build the Vikes women’s rugby team into one of the top programs in the country and was on the 2015 team that won the Canada west conference and finished fifth at the CIS National Championship – the best finish at nationals in the team’s history.
Last season she suited up for the Vikes at the 2017 Canadian University Sevens Championship, helping the team to their first national championship in the program’s history.
Also back in the lineup is Caroline Crossley, a local favourite and member of the Castaway Wanders.
Looking to come back from a disappointing result in Kitakyushu, Japan last month, Canada is sitting fifth in the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series standings. Last year, the team walked away from the Langford event with a silver medal and this year they’ll be looking to take gold.
But they’ll have to get past Australia, who is sitting on top of the leader board with 56 points, and the defending champs New Zealand, who are sitting in second. The pair is followed by Russia, rounding out the top three, and France sitting in fourth.
Along with the addition of Buisa, the only other changes in the lineup from Kitakyushu is team captain Ghislaine Landry returning from injury to lead the team and Brittany Benn sitting out due to injury.
There are three pools and 12 teams competing in action featuring 18 games Saturday and 16 games on Sunday.
Pool A includes New Zealand, Fiji, England and Brazil, pool B includes France, Russia, USA and Japan and pool C includes Australia, Spain, Ireland and Canada.
Pool play kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday with Canada’s first game at 11:36 against Australia. Playoffs begin Sunday. Find the full schedule online at goldstreamgazette.com.