MONTREAL -- Maria Jaworski, a McGill University graduate and former member of the women's rugby team, has been named by Rugby Canada as part of the Canadian senior squad that will be competing at the Nations Cup tournament at Appleby College in Oakville, Ont., Aug. 2-13 and will feature national teams from Canada, USA, England and South Africa.
Jaworski, a native of Pine Hill, Que., played four seasons with McGill, from 2005 to 2008. She was an all-conference fly-half with the Martlets and earned team MVP honours while serving as a team captain in 2007. Best remembered for connecting on a rare drop-kick goal in a victory over the Ottawa Gee-Gees, she also was an Academic All-Canadian and made the Principal's Student-athlete Honour Roll. Her older sister Trish also starred on the rugby pitch for McGill.
“We have had a very busy spring, conducting talent identification and development camps across the country," said John Tait, a native of Vancouver Island who was appointed head coach of the national team last fall. "You will see in the selected team for the Nations Cup a real mixture of Canada’s veteran athletes and fresh faces to the senior international scene.”
Of the 26 athletes selected for the upcoming tourney, eight will be seeking their first international cap. The Nations Cup is organized jointly by USA Rugby, the RFUW (England) and Rugby Canada. Two tournaments are held every other year, one for senior national teams and one for Under-20 national teams, with rotating host locations. Canada's U-20 women are currently embarking on their final matches in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Canada last met the USA in their final match of the 2010 IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup, where the USA won 23-20 to earn a fifth-place finish. In 2010, Canada won three of five matches against the American side.
Canada last met England at the 2009 Nations Cup final, where they suffered a 22-0 loss. England has enjoyed much success and continued growth over recent years. They hosted the 2010 IRB Womens Rugby World Cup and reached the tournament final versus New Zealand.
To date, Canada has only had one meeting with the senior side from South Africa, at the 2009 Nations Cup, where Canada prevailed 35-16
“Our top athletes have made significant gains in off-field development over the course of 2011," said Tait. "Working collectively in regional training centres with top strength and conditioning coaches, we are excited to see their progress transfer to the pitch this summer.”
The 2011 national team began preparations in June with a training camp at Shawnigan Lake School in B.C., where 40 invitees vied for the coveted 26 spots. The upcoming tourney will be the team's final event on the 2011 calendar.
The Nations Cup marks the first competition in the start of a four-year cycle, building towards the 2014 IRB Women’s World Cup in France.
"It will be a good opportunity to assess where we are at against some of the top international competition, as well as internally as a program,” said Tait.
The Nations Cup tourney can be followed online at www.womensnationscup.com
2011 Nations Cup National Senior Women’s Team:
Name – Current Club Team – Hometown, Province
Jessica Belchos - Markham Irish Canadians (Innisfil, ON)
Marie Bosco - Ottawa Irish (Ottawa, ON)
Andrea Burk - Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
Kim Donaldson - Burnaby Lake (Vancouver, BC)
Jess Dovanne - Valkyries (Victoria, BC)
Arielle Dubisette - Toronto Nomads (Ajax, ON)
Corinne Jacobson - Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (Vancouver, BC)
Maria Jaworski - Calgary Hornets RFC (Calgary, AB)
Shannon Kane - Velox Valkyries (Victoria, BC)
Jen Kish - Edmonton Rockers (Edmonton, AB)
Ghislaine Landry - Toronto Scottish (Toronto, ON)
Ashley MacDonald - Lethbridge RFC (Corran Ban, PEI)
Kayla Mack - Wild Oats (Saskatoon, SK)
Mandy Marchak- Capilano RFC & Saracens, UK (Vancouver, BC)
Brittany Orr - Lethbridge RC (Lethbridge, AB)
Cheryl Phillips - Toronto Scottish RFC (Toronto, ON)
Marie-Pier Pinault Reid - Club de Rugby de Québec (Québec, QC)
Danielle Rowlands - Calgary Hornets (Colonsay, SK)
Kelly Russell - Toronto Nomads (Bolton, ON)
Laura Russell - Toronto Nomads (Bolton, ON)
Laura Stoughton – Calgary Hornets RFC (Calgary, AB)
Julia Sugawara - Burnaby Lake (Vancouver, BC)
Brandi Van Eeuwen - Lethbridge RC (Duncan, BC)
Brittany Waters - Meraloma Athletic Club (Vancouver, BC)
Kelsey Willoughby - Lethbridge RC (Lethbridge, AB)
Julianne Zussman- Town of Mount Royal RFC, ( Montreal, QB)
Non traveling Reserves:
Asya Bartley - Barrhaven Scottish RFC (Ottawa, ON)
Marlene Donaldson - Velox Valkyries (Victoria, BC)
Magali Harvey - Club de Rugby de Quebec (Quebec City, QC)
Coaching & Support Staff:
Sandro Fiorino Assistant Coach
Penny Delaney Team Manager
Jason White Athletic Therapist
Darren Wharrie Athletic Therapist
2011 NATIONS CUP TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:
Tuesday, Aug. 2
4:30 pm - Canada vs. South Africa
6:30 pm - USA vs. England
Friday, Aug. 5
*Games at Chatham
5:00 pm - England vs. South Africa
7:00 pm - Canada vs. USA
Tuesday, Aug. 9
4:30 pm – South Africa vs. USA
6:30 pm – Canada vs. England
Saturday, Aug. 13
2:00 pm 3rd vs 4th
4:00 pm 1st vs 2nd
McGill Athletics & Recreation