LANGLEY, B.C. – Rugby Canada’s head coach Sandro Fiorino recently named his 41-player shortlist ahead of their November Tour to Europe and two current Axewomen, as well as a former Acadia rugby player, were named to the roster.
Former UPEI Panther Alysha Corrigan, who now wears the Axewomen red and blue, was named to the national squad along with teammate and first-year Acadia player Valerie Wideski.
From Charlottetown, P.E.I., Corrigan was honoured last season as an U SPORTS All-Canadian and AUS All-Star. Corrigan transferred to Acadia for academic pursuits after graduating from UPEI with a Business degree.
Wideski, who hails from Richmond, B.C., spent this past summer with the U20 Team Canada that participated in the U20 Tri-Nations Cup in Wolfville, and Halifax versus England Soccer and USA Soccer.
Also making the long list is Janna Slevinsky of St. Albert, Alta. who was an All-Canadian and AUS All-Star during her time as an Axewoman from 2010 to 2014.
“It is no surprise that they were long-listed for this group. Alysha Corrigan has been a strong player at the U-Sports level every year she’s has been in the conference and she gets better every year. Her versatility in the back line and her explosive offensive skills make her dangerous every time she touches the ball,” said Axewomen head coach Matthew Durant.
Durant has been more than impressed by the play of Wideski early in the season.
“Valerie brings an unprecedented level of athleticism to the front row of any team she plays with. She is incredibly strong and her ruby IQ is deepening with every game. I think both players will play key roles in the success of this RC team,” added Durant.
“I am also tremendously proud of Janna Slevinsky, one of the most talented and committed of any women I have ever coached. She was one of the strongest players for Canada on this tour last year, and I expect her to be even stronger this year. It is a great tribute to our Acadia program and the dedication of these great athletes,” Durant concluded.
Over the coming weeks, Fiorino will select 30 players from the 41-player shortlist that will travel to Europe in November.
In November, Canada will play three test matches, along with one “A” contest against England, Scotland and one nation TBC. Unlike last November, where many players were unavailable for selection for various reasons, Fiorino’s roster includes 13 members of Canada’s 2017 World Cup roster, which will surely add depth and leadership.
Did you know?
Acadia University is host of the 2018 U SPORTS National Women’s Rugby Championship from November 1 to November 4. Two teams will represent each conference including the Canada West Conference, OUA Conference, RSEQ Conference and the AUS.