The Rugby Canada women’s team will play in the inaugural WXV 1 tournament. They qualified for this tournament first by beating the rivals, USA Rugby women’s team, in the Pacific Nations Cup. Then, in a memorable game against the Australians (nicknamed the Wallaroos), Canada is in the tournament with one of the six highest-ranked nations in the world. These teams are New Zealand, Australia, Wales, England, and France.
Note: All rankings provided for these teams were provided by World Rugby.
Rugby Canada women’s team will be in inaugural WXV 1 competition
WXV is almost here! Are you ready?
— WXV (@WXVRugby) October 5, 2023
England Rugby (Ranked first in the world)
This is a team that Rugby Canada has the most experience against. Unfortunately, for the Canadians, there has also not been much success.
These two teams faced each other twice back in September. Canada lost both games, with the first one being a convincing 50-24 loss in Exeter, England on September 23. However, the Canadians played better in the second game on September 30 but still lost 29-12. Still, there is hope for Canada that they can get a result against England, as they can compete with them on any given day.
That was clearly shown in the 2021 Rugby Women’s World Cup, where the Canadians lost narrowly to the English in the semi-final round of the Rugby World Cup.
𝐖𝐞𝐥𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐨 @WXVRugby 🙌
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) October 1, 2023
Also, to note, since the roster was revealed by England Rugby on Twitter, both flanker, Sadia Kabeya, and scrum-half, Lucy Packer are out with injuries. Still, the team has some great players that Canadian fans might recognize. One is, of course, Abby Dow, who scored two tries, including that one fabulous try against Canada in the 2019 Rugby Women’s World Cup. The other try scorer against Canada in that game, Marlie Packer, is also part of the squad.
In addition, Packer led the Women’s Six Nations competition with seven tries and 35 points scored while Dow was just below in second place with six tries and 30 points scored.
England Rugby qualified for the WXV 1 tournament after finishing first in the 2023 Women’s Six Nations with a perfect 5-0-0 record.
France Rugby (Ranked third in the world)
This is the one game that Rugby Canada fans and players will have probably circled on their calendars. After France dominated over Canada in the bronze medal game of the 2021 Rugby World Cup, the Canucks will feel they have something to prove.
These teams have faced each other 16 times, with France holding the slight advantage with nine wins while Canada has won seven. The most memorable game for Canada was when they defeated France in the 2014 Rugby Women’s World Cup semi-final round in their first and so far, only finals appearance in the Rugby Women’s World Cup.
✈️🇳🇿 Direction 𝒍𝒂 𝑵𝒐𝒖𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒆-𝒁𝒆́𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒆 ! #WXVRugby
Voici le groupe qui s'envolera dimanche pour Wellington avec 3 matchs au programme du @WXVRugby !
— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) October 2, 2023
The French will not have their 2021 Rugby World Cup try scoring leader, Joanna Grisez, and their leading points scorer, Caroline Drouin, on their team. They however, still have some players that can trouble the Canadian team. This includes players like Pauline Bourdon, Madoussou Fall, who scored one try each against Canada, and also Marine Ménager, who scored two tries against Canada in that Rugby World Cup game.
France qualified for the inaugural XV1 by finishing with a record of a 4-1-0 at the 2023 Women’s Six Nations.
Welsh Rugby Union (Ranked sixth in the world)
Wales made the WXV 1 competition by finishing with a record of 3-2-0. This included a key win against Scotland, which helped the Welsh to make the inaugural WXV 1 competition.
The Welsh last faced Canada in the last warm-up game before the 2021 Rugby World Cup began last year. In that game, Canada won 31-3 at Wanderers Grounds in Halifax. Both teams have also tied against each other twice. As of recently, the Canadians have had the better record against the Welsh as they won their last five games, which included two wins in the 2017 Rugby Women’s World Cup. The last time Wales beat Canada was back on May 6, 2006, when the Welsh won 16-11. The Welsh also beat Canada 11-5 at the 1994 Rugby World Cup.
🏴 Here are the 30 players who will be representing @WelshRugbyUnion at WXV1 in New Zealand!
— WXV (@WXVRugby) October 5, 2023
Two players to watch out for includes Keira Bevan, who led the team with 27 points scored. There is also Sisilia Tuipulotu who scored 20 points and led the team with four tries scored in the 2023 Women’s Six Nations.
Rugby Canada women’s team roster (ranked fourth in the world)
WXV1, here we come! 🙌
— Rugby Canada (@RugbyCanada) October 1, 2023
The player who scored a hat-trick against the Australian Wallaroos, Tyson Beukeboom will be one of the many forwards on the list. There is also captain and considered their best on the team, Sophie de Goede. She is an all-around player, who scored two tries against the Wallaroos earlier this year. Emily Tuttosi will be relied heavily on those scrums to score tries when needed and Paige Farries is a player with tremendous speed, who can create tries for herself and teammates in this high-level competition.
Tuttosi led the team in points (30) and tries scored (six) in the 2022 Rugby World Cup. Farries was second on the team list with tries scored for that same competition (four tries scored).
Additionally, Sarah-Maude Lachance will be on the team after scoring two memorable tries for the national team in the Pacific Four Nations series, this included scoring a try at TD Place Stadium against the Wallaroos in the Pacific Four Nations series.
Big games coming up for Rugby Canada
This is an exciting tournament for everyone involved, including the players. This is what England’s Red Roses player, Packer, said about the upcoming games in New Zealand in the inaugural WXV 1 competition (source: WXV Rugby Twitter Account):
This is what Welsh Rugby Union women’s head coach said about the upcoming games (source: Ceri Coleman-Phillips of BBC Sport Wales):
“We can’t wait. This is where we want to be, we want to challenge ourselves against the best in the world,” Cunningham told BBC Sport Wales. “This is a semi-final level of the World Cup, that’s what we’re entering at.”
For the Canadians, the tournament is just around the corner. They will start their competition by facing Wales on October 20 in Wellington at Wellington Regional Stadium. They will then face England on October 27 in Dunedin at Forsyth Barr Stadium and France on November 3 in Auckland at Mount Smart Stadium. The games against Wales and France will take place at 11:00 PM ET while the game against England will happen at 2:00 AM ET. All of these three games for Canada will be shown live on TSN according to WXV Rugby.
England, France, and Wales will face New Zealand (ranked second in the world), Australia (ranked fifth in the world), and Canada, who all finished in the top-three of the Pacific Four Nations earlier this year. The team with the best record after three games between these six teams will be crowned the WXV 1 champions.
Photo Credit: Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photography of Rugby Canada on July 14, 2023.