Canada’s National Women’s Rugby Sevens team landed at Victoria International Airport on Monday, following their gold medal triumph at the Kitakyushu Sevens championship in Japan.
The team and coach John Tait were en route to their next stop in Langford, which forms part of the 2019 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. They walked into an arrivals hall ringing with cheers from their fans, a school club and members of the public. Two fans had even dressed up, with one decked out in a Wookie costume.
The team was undefeated through the entire Kitakyushu tournament, beating Spain, China and Australia in the pool stages before besting Russia 17-14. After swatting aside the USA 24-12 in the semis, England were turned over 7-5 in a gritty final.
Inspirational captain Ghislaine Landry won Player of the Finals, and her team’s winning performances marked the first time since Sydney 2017 Team Canada has topped the podium.
“It was a super tough weekend but I’m really proud of the girls for being able to finish that one off and come home with the gold medal,” she said, adding, “It was special, we’re looking to build off it and keep going.”
The team is now ranked second in the world after their Litakyushu sweep and can secure a ticket to Tokyo 2020 if they reach the semi-finals of the HSBC Canada Womens Sevens in Langford, on May 11 and 12.
Landry is confident of the team maintaining their momentum.
“For such a tough tournament we’ve come out pretty unscathed. There are a lot of battered bodies as it was a really tough weekend but everyone’s doing pretty good. Next year’s a big series with the extra stops and then finish it with the Olympics.”