UBCO Heat open Canada West slate in Abbotsford

The Heat women’s rugby 7s team made their Canada West debut this weekend

The Heat women’s rugby 7s team will made their Canada West debut this weekend when they travelled to Abbotsford to face seven other university squads.

The tournament opened up on Saturday as the Heat face UFV, UBC, Calgary, and then Lethbridge in their opening three games. They will played two more games on Sunday, again at the Matsqui Recreation Complex in Abbotsford, when they play Alberta in the morning, and then wrap up the weekend series against Victoria, at 12:40 p.m.

Second-year head coach and former Heat rugby Christian Hill is looking forward to his team’s upcoming tournaments, especially with a lot of speed on this year’s team.

“The team has dealt with a very long preseason and has worked hard to get to, what I feel is a very strong roster. The biggest thing that will stand out with our team is our speed and athleticism. Not playing in the first tournament was disappointing, but it gives us a chance for more preparation and alleviates the potential for injuries in the early part of the year, although we would have loved to be there to see the competition. I also like that we have not shown our hand, and are probably coming in as underdogs who will surprise some people,” said Hill.

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“Seniors’ Jordanne Sulz and Abbey Nyberg are this years team captains. They both offer a wealth of experience and determination to put the Heat name on the map, so look for them to make an impact in their first sniff of U SPORTS action… Emma Johnson has been a breakout player in the early parts of the season as her athleticism and speed are tough to match and I think will be a major asset moving forward.”

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The first tournament was two weekends ago in Edmonton, Alta. where the UBC Thunderbirds captured the victory in the final game 19-12 over the Lethbridge Pronghorns.

The 2019 CW Women’s Rugby 7s Series champion will be based on cumulative series points, with the champions officially crowned March 3rd in Vancouver. Last year, the Victoria Vikes claimed the conference banner, topping the series standings with 30 points.

Canada West teams will go on to compete at the Rugby Canada University 7s National Championship in late March in Kingston, Ont.

This season marks the final of a three-year pilot partnership between B2ten, Rugby Canada, and Canada West to bring university rugby 7s competition to Western Canada.

B2ten and Rugby Canada’s partnership with Canada West is part of their ongoing commitment to producing the next generation of Olympians by growing the game at Western Canadian universities that share their collective goal of developing high performance rugby programs here in Canada.

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