As the Canada women's rugby team prepare to host the USA twice week, Meghan Mutrie brings us all the news from the Canadian camp. The games will be streamed live by Rugby Canada.
By Meghan Mutrie.
Canada's head coach Johnathan Long selected his squad for the first game of the two test series with a simple message on the team whiteboard. It said: "We are here to won."
Both Canada and the USA are in an identical scenario; coaches need to see all of their personnel to select for the World Cup, but they also need to field a team that can win these matches, for confidence as well as national pride in the ongoing rivalry.
I think they are in the exact same situation as us; same environment, same group and looking for the same results for the same reasons. They are going to want to put down a marker, Long says.
Whoever comes away with the wins will be on a path of confidence leading directly to the World Cup.
The USA won the last meeting between these two sides, 11-10, as Canada showed poor discipline in the match with two yellow cards and a spate of penalties.
Long expects a tough performance from their rivals.
[The US] is the sort of side who make the most of their opportunities, so if you give them an inch, theyll run with it.
Long selected his team based on the message on the whiteboard.
Ive selected the best side that is currently available. Im looking for our players to bring their individual attributes on the field. We have such good athletes that are capable of breaking games, as well as players who can put those game breakers away.
Ive been especially impressed with Brittany Waters so far, her performance this week has been exceptional.
Waters, a former Canada netballer has quickly become a valuable asset in Canadas backline.
Last game gave [the US] a bit of confidence which may carry into this game, thinking they have a better chance. I dont think either team is a favourite; both teams know how close it is. I mean this respectfully but in a sense, I dont actually care what the States do,
Waters believes a strong team dynamic is what could set Canada apart from other squads.
In terms of dynamics, it can be a gamble putting together a team, to get the balance right. What this team has is uncoachable, and if we can translate it onto the field, well be unstoppable and it will be what will set us apart.
A notable inclusion in the squad is the return of Canda's Oympic medal winner Heather Moyse who is on the bench.
Canada will kick off against the USA at 4pm on Monday, June 14 at Shawnigan Lake School.
Both tests will be streamed live online and can be found at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/live-rugby
For our preview of the two test series click here:
Canada squad to play the USA:
1. Tabitha Stavrou 2. Lesley McKenzie 3. Marlene Donaldson 4. Megan Gibbs 5. Marie-Eve Brindamour-Carignan 6. Barbara Mervin 7. Gillian Florence 8. Kelly Russell 9. Laura Stoughton 10. Anna Schnell 11. Maria Gallo CAPTAIN 12. Sarah Ulmer 13. Mandy Marchak 14. Brittany Waters 15. Ashley Patzer 16. Corinne Jacobsen 17. Kim Donaldson 18. Jennifer Kish 19. Heather Jaques 20. Julia Sugawara 21. Brooke Hilditch 22. Heather Moyse