WOLFVILLE, N.S – Rugby Canada's head coach Sandro Fiorino has named his 41-player shortlist ahead of their November Tour to Europe this past Monday and two current Axewomen and a former Acadia rugby player were named to the roster.
Former UPEI Panther Alysha Corrigan, who now wears the Axewomen red and blue, was named to the National squad along with teammate and first-year Axewomen Valerie Wideski.
From Charlottetown, P.E.I., Corrigan was honoured last season as a U SPORTS All-Canadian and AUS All-Star. Corrigan transferred to Acadia for academic pursuits after graduating from UPEI with a Business degree.
Wideski, who hails from Richmond, B.C., spent this past summer with the U20 Team Canada that participated in the U20 Tri-Nations Cup in Wolfville and Halifax versus England Soccer and USA Soccer.
Also making the long list is Janna Slevinsky of St. Albert, Alta. who was an All-Canadian and AUS All-Star during her time as an Axewoman from 2010 to 2014.
"It is no surprise that they were long-listed for this group. Alysha Corrigan has been a strong player at the U-Sports level every year she's has been in the conference and she gets better every year. Her versatility in the back line and her explosive offensive skills make her dangerous every time she touches the ball," said Axewomen head coach Matthew Durant.
Durant has been more than impressed by the play of Wideski early in the season.
"Valerie brings an unprecedented level of athleticism to the front row of any team she plays with. She is incredibly strong and her ruby IQ is deepening with every game. I think both players will play key roles in the success of this RC team," added Durant.
"I am also tremendously proud of Janna Slevinsky, one of the most talented and committed of any women I have ever coached. She was one of the strongest players for Canada on this tour last year, and I expect her to be even stronger this year. It is a great tribute to our Acadia program and the dedication of these great athletes," concluded Durant.
Over the coming weeks, Fiorino will select 30 players from the 41-player shortlist that will travel to Europe in November
This coming November, Team Canada will play three test matches, along with one "A" contest against England, Scotland and one nation TBC.
Acadia University is host of the 2018 U SPORTS National Women's Rugby Championship from November 1 to November 4. Two teams will represent each conference including the Canada West Conference, OUA Conference, RSEQ Conference and the AUS.
Canada's November Tour Long List:
Elissa Alarie – (Ste-Anne-De-Bellevue RFC/Westshore RFC) Trois Rivieres, QC
Jennifer Appleby – (Castaway Wanderers) Regina, SK
Tyson Beukeboom – (Cowichan Piggies) Uxbridge, ON
Taylor Black – (Oakville Crusaders) Oakville, ON
Gillian Boag – (Capilano/UBC) Calgary, AB
Mackenzie Carson – (Bristol Bears) Abbotsford, BC
Alysha Corrigan – (CRFC) Charlottetown, PEI
Hunter Czeppel – (ARFC) Abbotsford, BC
Sophie de Goede – (Castaway Wanderers/Queens University) Victoria, BC
Olivia DeMerchant – (Fredericton Loyalists) Mapledale, NB
Abigail DuGuid – (Edmonton Pirates) Edmonton, AB
Chanelle Edwards-Challenger – (Castaway Wanderers) Calgary, AB
Alex Ellis – (Barrhaven Scottish) Ottawa, ON
Paige Farries – (Westshore RFC) Red Deer, AB
Fabiola Forteza – (Club de Rugby de Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Ngalula Fuamba – (TMRRFC) Notre-Dame-de-L'Île-Perrot
Madison Gold – (UBC) Courtney, BC
Veronica Harrigan – (London St. George's) Lucan, ON
Magali Harvey – (CRQ) Quebec City, QC
Anaïs Holly – (TMR RFC) Montreal, QC
Courtney Holtkamp – (Red Deer Titans) Rimbey, AB
Emmanuela Jada – (Guelph Redcoats) Guelph, ON
Lori Josephson – (Guelph Redcoats) Beaverton, ON
Brittany Kassil – (Guelph Redcoats) Guelph, ON
Maude Laliberté – (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
DaLeaka Menin – (Calgary Hornets) Vulcan, AB
Brianna Miller – (Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue) Point-Claire, QC
Cindy Nelles – (Belleville Bulldogs) Belleville, ON
Emilie Nicholl – (Guelph Redcoats) Toronto, ON
Arielle Normandin Leclerc – (TMR RFC) Montreal, QC
Irene Patrinos – (Toronto Saracens) Mississauga, ON
Frederique Rajotte – (Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue) Montreal, QC
Laura Russell – (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
Emily Samek – (Guelph Redcoats) Hamilton, ON
Gabrielle Senft – (Castaway Wanderers) Regina, SK
Janna Slevinsky – (Kingston Panthers) St. Albert, AB
Sara Svoboda – (Belleville Bulldogs/Toronto Saracens) Belleville, ON
Alex Tessier – (SABRFC) Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton, QC
Marie Thibault – (CRQ) Quebec City, QC
Amanda Thornborough – (Westshore RFC) Brandon, MB
Valerie Wideski – (Westshore RFC) Richmond, BC
Canada's November Tour Schedule:
Sunday 18th November
England vs Canada
Castle Park, Doncaster
K.O. 2pm local time (9am ET/6am PT)
Wednesday 21st November
England "A" v Canada "A"
*Not an official test match*
Saturday 24th November
TBC vs Canada
Tuesday 27th November
Scotland v Canada
Scotstoun Stadium – Glasgow
K.O. 7pm local time (2pm ET/11am PT)