Emma Feldinger of Alexis Creek has been long-listed as one of 68 players named to the 2016/17 Canadian Under-18 Women’s Rugby Team.

Emma Feldinger of Alexis Creek has been long-listed as one of 68 players named to the 2016/17 Canadian Under-18 Women’s Rugby Team.

Feldinger long-listed to Canada’s under-18 rugby team

Alexis Creek’s Emma Feldinger has been long-listed as one of 68 players named to the 2016/17 Canadian Under-18 Women’s Rugby Team.

Alexis Creek’s Emma Feldinger has been long-listed as one of 68 players named to the 2016/17 Canadian Under-18 Women’s Rugby Team.

Over a 12-month period, head coach Dan Valley and his staff have outlined a long-list that will have an extensive match schedule in 2017.

“I am super stoked about being long-listed and I can’t wait to begin the process of hopefully representing my country at the international level,” Feldinger, a Grade 11 student at Lake City Secondary school, said.

“This is my second year being long-listed so I know that over the next few months I will be facing a lot of hard work, both mentally and physically, but I am looking forward to the challenge.”

This fall, Feldinger and her teammates will participate in a week-long national camp in Ontario with Valley as the head coach.

Following that, Feldinger will have to submit weekly videos on specific rugby tasks she’s asked to work on by her coaches.

Then, in the winter, players will take part in a two-day regional camp — likely to be held in Vancouver — where Valley will make his choice on who will compete for Canada’s under-18 squad.

At just 15 years old last year, Feldinger didn’t qualify for the short-list due to several older, more experienced players making the team. This year, however, she is extremely hopeful her age and improved strength will work to her benefit.

Valley, meanwhile, said he’s looking forward to year two of the program.

“We had a really successful first year and have had the chance to evaluate our program model and modify it to increase the frequency and quality of the time we’ll get to work with our identified athletes,” Valley said.

“Our program has increased the degree of collaboration between national, regional and provincial coaches and programs to enable our athletes to work with the best athletes and coaches in their regions more frequently.”

In 2017, Canada will compete in the spring and summer in U18 international fixtures with details to be released upon confirmation.

“We’re really excited with the group of athletes we’ve identified for this year’s training camp,” Valley said. “We have 22 athletes returning from last year’s program that were dominant at this summer’s U16 Championships and U18 CRC.

“The athletes that are entering the program for the first time have all demonstrated an exceptional level of skill and physical potential, and will hopefully make a seamless transition into this program. It’s a really exciting group. Now it’s time to get to work.”

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