After suiting up with Team Canada for a slate of exhibition games throughout the year, Lori Josephson of Beaverton has maintained her spot on the roster heading into the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland next month.
The 28-player roster for the tournament was announced Wednesday (July 5) by head coach Francois Ratier.
Along with 18 returning players from the 2014 World Cup squad, which won silver, the roster features 10 new additions including Josephson.
“I would say our capacity to respond to challenges is the greatest strength of this squad,” Ratier said.
“We were hard on players in New Zealand and during the Can-Am Series to make sure they were not in the team just to wear the jersey but to perform in every game. They have responded well and we are expecting the same during this tough World Cup.”
The squad selected shows very little turnover from Canada’s Can-Am Series and International Women’s Rugby Series earlier this year.
“We want to keep some continuity in our work and it’s important for players to know each other on and off the field,” Ratier said.
“We also have a non-travelling list of players who know our plans and culture.”
Canada beat the U.S. twice in March, winning 39-5 and 37-10 before heading to New Zealand for the International Women’s Rugby Series.
Canada finished third in the event with a 28-16 loss to the Black Ferns, a 27-20 defeat to England and a resounding 45-5 win over Australia.
Heading into the World Cup, Canada ranks third in the world. In Ireland, they will face No. 2 ranked New Zealand, No. 10 ranked Wales and No. 23 ranked Hong Kong. All three pool games will take place at Billings Park UCD in Dublin.
“First we need to get through the pool. With this tournament format there is no room for mistakes,” Ratier said.
“We will take it one game at a time and we will see where we are at the end but right now our entire focus is on the game against Hong Kong.”
Canada faces Hong Kong (Aug. 9), Wales (Aug. 13) and New Zealand (Aug. 17). All of the games will be broadcast live on TSN.
“I would like to congratulate all the players who have been selected for Canada’s Women’s Rugby World Cup squad,” said Jim Dixon, Rugby Canada’s general manager of performance and rugby operations.
“The team has been working incredibly hard under Francois’ leadership and we are all looking forward to a strong campaign in Ireland.”