Canada’s women rugby sevens captain Kayla Moleschi of Williams Lake will join her teammates this weekend in Dubai at the Emirates International 7s — the team’s first event since the COVID-19 pandemic halted play in March of 2020. (Photo submitted)

Canada’s women rugby sevens captain Kayla Moleschi of Williams Lake will join her teammates this weekend in Dubai at the Emirates International 7s — the team’s first event since the COVID-19 pandemic halted play in March of 2020. (Photo submitted)

Moleschi, Canada, to hit pitch at Emirates Invitational 7s for first time since start of pandemic

After over a year without competition, Williams Lake’s Kayla Moleschi and her Canada Women’s Sevens teammates will compete in Dubai at the Emirates Invitational 7s.

The current captain of the Canadian squad and a member of the bronze-medal-winning Olympic team in 2016, Moleschi said she is thrilled to get back on the pitch for the tournament — one of two Olympic preparation events being held in Dubai.

Though not part of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the Emirates Invitational 7s is a high-performance event, and will be a competitive training camp for the best rugby sevens teams in the world in advance of the Olympics in Tokyo this July.

The first tournament runs April 2-3, followed by April 8-9 at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai.

For Moleschi and Canada, this will be the first time they have stepped on the pitch competitively since the global COVID-19 pandemic halted play on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series over a year ago. The team’s last competition was a silver-medal finish at the Sydney 7s in February of 2020.

READ MORE: Moleschi ‘super happy’ with women’s sevens rugby gold at Pan Am Games

Organizers of the Emirates Invitational 7s said Dubai is uniquely positioned both in geography and travel restrictions to host teams from all over the world in a safe and prepared environment. This will see teams enter into a strict bio-bubble with all logistics supported by the wider Emirates Group.

Teams will train and play at The Sevens Stadium behind closed doors, with spectators not allowed in attendance.

“We are tremendously excited to be welcoming some of the best teams in the world back to Dubai,” said general manager of The Sevens Stadium, Thomas Burwell.

“We set ourselves the challenge in the backend of 2020 to be part of the solution in getting rugby sevens back on the park.”

Canada has travelled to the tournament with an extended roster, Rugby Canada said, which will be as follows:

• Kayla Moleschi

• Delaney Aikens

• Elissa Alarie

• Olivia Apps

• Brittany Benn

• Pamphinette Buisa

• Emma Chown

• Caroline Crossley

• Bianca Farella

• Julia Greenshields

• Asia Hogan-Rochester

• Sara Kaljuvee

• Ghislaine Landry

• Kaili Lukan

• Breanne Nicholas

• Karen Paquin

• Florence Symonds

• Keyara Wardley

• Charity Williams

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