All eyes will be on Canada’s women’s rugby team, along with Williams Lake’s Kayla Moleschi, as they prepare to host the HSBC Women’s World Series Sevens this weekend on home turf in Langford, B.C.
The Canada Sevens is arguably the most popular stop on the series, and is slated to be a humdinger for all involved.
Defending champions New Zealand are in good form and come into the tournament as favorites to lift the cup for a third time. Australia, who currently lead the World Series with 56 points, will also pose a major threat for the title, while third-placed dark horse, Russia, cannot be counted out, either.
Canada, meanwhile, is eager to make a statement on day one in front of what’s expected to be a packed house at the home of Canadian Rugby at Westhills Stadium in Langford.
“Missing our home tournament last year due to injury was hard, but this year I’m looking to contribute to the success of our team by executing my job, role to my fullest,” Moleschi said.
“It’s always such a rush playing in front of a home crowd, feeding off the energy buzzing around, but when we take to the tunnel we zone in on the task at hand and look to go to work for each other.”
Canada currently sits in fifth place on the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series standings after a disappointing result in Kitakyushu last month, but will take confidence from their impressive showing in Langford last year, which resulted in a silver medal for Canada.
With two tournaments left on the circuit, Canada Sevens will provide a great opportunity for teams to stamp their authority on the World Series ahead of the much-anticipated Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco in July.
“A lot of hard work has gone in since returning home from our last two tournaments,” Moleschi said. “The team is looking sharp and ready to perform.”
Fans making the trip to Westhills Stadium will be in for a treat on day one as Canada kicks off pool play against Australia in a repeat of last year’s semifinal.
Canada will follow that up with a match against Spain before the hosts close out the day against a very much improved Irish outfit.
Moleschi said it’s always an exciting time getting to play at home in front of family and friends.
“I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces in the crowd including my dad, mom, aunt and uncle, the Pritchards, of course, and so many more,” Moleschi said.
Canada is grouped in Pool C with Australia, Spain and Ireland.
Pool A consists of New Zealand, Fiji, England and Brazil, while Pool B houses France, Russia, the U.S. and Japan.
Following its opener with Australia at 11:36 a.m. May 12, Canada takes on Spain at 2:08 p.m. and Ireland at 5 p.m.
All the action will be live-streamed at www.cbc.ca/sports.