Jess Neilson of the UVic Vikes is named to Rugby Canada's premier squad for the upcoming Super Series versus England

Jess Neilson of the UVic Vikes is named to Rugby Canada's premier squad for the upcoming Super Series versus England

Rugby Canada unites Vikes players, coaches on pitch

Head coach Brittany Waters leads a contingent of UVic Vikes players and assistant coaches for Canada at Super Series

It’s not everyday your coach lines up next to you as a player, but that’s what’s happening as a core of University of Victoria Vikes women’s rugby players, and coaching staff, have been selected to Rugby Canada’s roster at the Women’s Super Series, June 27 to July 5 in Alberta.

All four teams, New Zealand, U.S.A and England, are currently ranked in the top six IRB world rankings.

Third year Vikes Jess Neilson, Julia Folk and Tiffany Picketts join newly named Vikes women’s rugby head coach Brittany Waters and assistant coaches Laura Russell, Julianne Zussman and Barbara Mervin on the 27-player roster. Current Vike Nicole Crowley will travell with the team as manager.

“It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to get to play alongside (Waters) as well as our other coaches during the Super Series,” said Neilson.

The Vikes fly half was part of Canada’s U20 team that went undefeated at the 2013 Nations Cup over England, South Africa and U.S.A.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have played with (the coaches) before on a few occasions, it’s always a great learning experience and unique chance to play alongside people you look up to,” she said.

Zussman and Mervin made regular appearances for the premier-level provincial champion Velox Valkyries during the team’s Saanich days.

The national roster is chosen by head coach Francois Ratier. Twelve of the 27 are returnees from Canada’s second place finish at the 2014 Women’s World Cup with 15 new players bringing  varying levels of international experience.

Canada faces New Zealand on June 27 in Calgary, U.S.A. on July 1 in Red Deer and England on July 5 in Edmonton.

“It’s always important to play the best in the world,” Ratier said. “New Zealand and England have both new coaches so we will see what they have to offer. They all will be strong, there’s no doubt about that.”

It’s the first IRB international tests for Canada since they fell to England in the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup final.

“It speaks really well for the Vikes program for many years to come with this kind of presence,” Neilson added.

“It’s really exciting.”

 

 

 

Canada’s roster for the 2015 Women’s Super Series:

Gillian Allen, (Kirin) Saskatoon, SK

Tyson Beukeboom, (Aurora Barbarians) Uxbridge, ONLayota Blackwood, (St. Anne de Bellevue) Montreal, QCAndrea Burk, (Capilano RFC) North Vancouver, BCOlivia DeMerchant, (Woodstock Wildmen) Mapledale, NBJulia Folk, (Regina Rogues), Regina, SKLisa Gauthier, (St-Anne de Bellevue), St-Bernardino, ONChelsea Guthrie, (Stratchona Druids) Edmonton, ABLori Josephson, (Aurora Barbarians) Beaverton, ONMary-Jane Kirby, (Highland RFC) Brampton, ONCarolyn McEwan (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club), Vancouver, BCKatie McNally (Velox Valkries) Guelph, ONDaLeaka Menin, (Hornets) Vulcan, ABBarbara Mervin, (Velox RFC) Peterborough, ONJacey Murphy, (Aurora Barbarians) Alliston, ONJess Neilson, (Meraloma) Vancouver, BCCindy Nelles, (Belleville Bulldogs) Belleville, ONTiffany Picketts (UVIC VIKES/ Abbotsford Rugby Club), Abbotsford, BCCamile Provencal-Aube, (Abénakis et CRQ) Sherbrooke, QBLaura Russell, (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ONMaria Samson, (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, ABNatasha Smith, (Barrhaven Scottish) Ottawa, ONEmma Taylor,Alex Tessier, (Montreal Barbarians) Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton, QBAmanda Thornborough, (Brandon Barbarians RFC) Brandon, MBBrittany Waters, (Meraloma Athletic Club) Vancouver, BCJulianne Zussman, (Town of Mount Royal RFC) Montreal, QC

 

Just Posted

The District of Saanich has pinpointed funding requests to Oak Bay and Victoria to help offset the purchase price of the Kings Park greenspace and keep the property intact. (Courtesy District of Saanich)
Saanich requests funding help from neighbours to preserve Kings Road green space

District hopes Victoria and Oak Bay will join them in protecting urban green space

(Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 exposure closes Oak Bay pub, restaurant

Penny Farthing, Vis-a-Vis expected to reopen Wednesday after deep clean

Victoria police officers used less-lethal weapons to arrest a woman Sunday night after she allegedly attacked a man with a hammer. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police use less-lethal weapons on woman following hammer attack

Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team called to barricade situation

Thriving Toots Wilderness School is trying to buy a 98-acre plot of undeveloped land from the Boys and Girls’ Club of Greater Victoria in Metchosin. (Contributed/Thriving Roots)
Hopeful buyers of Boys and Girls’ Club land in Metchosin would keep it wild

Nature-based school, partners trying to secure financing to buy 98-acre property: school director

A temporary urgent and primary care centre will open in Esquimalt this week, offering residents more health care options in their own community. (Black Press Media file)
Esquimalt’s temporary urgent and primary care centre to open Monday

The Esquimalt Health Unit will house the temporary site, permanent location opening in December

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Most Read