Coach John Tait has made two changes to his roster as the Canadian women’s rugby sevens team looks to make it two tournament wins in a row this week in Las Vegas.
Caroline Crossley and Sara Kaljuvee come in for Ashley Steacy and Julia Greenshields, who helped Canada lift the trophy last time out in Sydney.
Steacy is unavailable for the Las Vegas Sevens because of her sister’s wedding. Tait said prior to the Sydney stop that Crossley was unlucky not to make the 12-woman roster.
“Caroline has been consistently good in the practice and scrimmages so I’m looking forward to watching her compete in Vegas,” Tait said in a statement.
Greenshields will be in Vegas as part of the Maple Leafs development team playing in a companion invitational sevens tournament.
Canada stands third in the World Series standings, two points behind Australia and four back of New Zealand. Vegas is the third stop on the six-event circuit.
The Canadian women are in a pool with No. 5 Russia, No. 7 France and Argentina, which is making its season debut on the circuit. Play starts Friday and wraps up Saturday.
Canada is looking to win back-to-back series events and two events in the same season for the first time.
“We always believe in our ability to contest for the cup in every tournament and that is the goal for Las Vegas,” said Tait. “Although we won in Sydney the team identified areas we can improve on and know we will have to be better again to get another result.”
Canada has a 10-4-1 career record against Russia, although the teams have split their two meetings this season, and is 10-2-0 all-time against France.
The Canadian women have not played Argentina since a decisive 31-0 win in January 2013.
“Russia are dangerous, they can score from anywhere and are likely the fastest and one of the most physical teams in the series,” said Tait. “France try and wear opponents down with ball movement and possession. Argentina will be a little unknown but we will treat them no different and will be aggressive on defence and create some turnovers into scores early on to keep them under pressure.”
Counting the final stop of the 2015-16 season, the Canadian women have won three of the last four events.
Britt Benn, Guelph Redcoats, Napanee, Ont.; Caroline Crossley, Castaway Wanderers, Victoria; Hannah Darling, Peterborough Pagans, Warsaw, Ont.; Bianca Farella, Town of Mont Royal, Montreal; Sara Kaljuvee, Toronto Scottish, Ajax, Ont.; Jen Kish, Edmonton Rockers, Edmonton; Ghislaine Landry (capt.), Toronto Scottish, Toronto; Megan Lukan, unattached, Barrie, Ont.; Kayla Moleschi, Williams Lake Rustlers, Williams Lake, B.C.; Breanne Nicholas, London St. Georges, Blenheim, Ont.; Natasha Watcham-Roy, Hull Volant, Gatineau, Que.; Charity Williams, Markham Irish, Toronto.
Maple Leafs Roster
Olivia Apps, Aurora Barbarians, Lindsay, Ont.; Margaret Banks, Shawnigan Lake, Coquitlam, B.C.; Pamphinette Buisa, Ottawa Irish, Gatineau, Que.; Emma Chown, Kingston Panthers, Barrie, Ont.; Ashley Gordon, Brampton Beavers, Brampton, Ont.; Julia Greenshields, Sarnia Saints, Sarnia, Ont.; Nakisa Levale, Abbotsford Griffins, Abbotsford, B.C.; Kaili Lukan, unattached, Barrie, Ont.; Irene Patrinos, Ottawa Irish, Mississauga, Ont.; Erika Scott, Ormstown Saracens, Dewittville, Que.; Keyara Wardley, Okotoks Lions, Vulcan, Alta.
The Canadian Press