Despite a loss to New Zealand in the third game of the tournament, it’s safe to say the Women’s Rugby World Cup has been a remarkable experience for Lori Josephson.
Taking the pitch for Team Canada marks the fulfillment of a longtime dream for the Beaverton native, who earned a spot in the starting lineup for all three of the team’s games.
Canada opened with a 98-0 drubbing of Hong Kong last Wednesday (Aug. 9), before dispatching Wales by a 15-0 score on Sunday (Aug. 13). While she was kept off the scoreboard in the blowout win, Josephson scored the opening try – her first in international 15s play – against Wales.
“It’s been amazing but still feels a bit surreal,” she wrote The Brock Voice from Ireland following Sunday’s game.
“This is the biggest tournament for women’s rugby and it’s been my goal all along to make it here and play for Canada, not to mention scoring my first ever try in the jersey. And getting to play beside idols like (team captain) Kelly Russell, who I’ve looked up to for years, has just been the most amazing feeling. And we’re not even halfway there. I can’t wait to see what more this team can do.”
After opening with a pair of convincing wins, Team Canada closed out pool play Thursday (Aug. 17) against the second-ranked squad from New Zealand.
“Our team is so connected and ready to take on New Zealand after some review of our past two performances,” Josephson said prior to Thursday’s match.
“We’re taking it game by game, we’ve got one session and a captains run until next match and then we head over to Belfast to kick start the final rounds.”
Canada fell 48-5 against New Zealand.
A graduate of Brock High School, Josephson was a standout performer at the University of Western Ontario, where she was named to the Shiels Division all-star team three times and cracked the all-Canadian squad twice.
In 2014, her final season at Western, she led the team to a third-place finish in the nation championship tournament and was named the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) player of the year. Not surprisingly, Josephson was also named team MVP and was one of three nominees for Western’s Female Athlete of the Year. She was also nominated for the F.W.P. Jones Trophy, which is awarded to the female student athlete who has made the greatest contribution to intercollegiate athletics within the university.
Josephson was first named to the national team roster back in March for a two-game series against the U.S. that resulted in a pair of convincing wins for the Canadian squad.
She kept her spot for an exhibition tour to New Zealand in June, playing three games, and was officially named to the World Cup roster early last month.