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World Cup preparations worldwide

The Six Nations is over – and now the rest of the world is gearing up for the World Cup in August.

Photo credit: ARU Media

Australia’s preparations start getting serious with the Buildcorp National Women’s XVs Championship, which kicks off on the Gold Coast in May.

While national championships in the rest of the world take months to conclude, Australia’s still compress their national championship into a single weekend. This year defending champions, Sydney will face teams representing Western Australia, Australian Defence Force, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, NSW Country and Victoria. Each team will play four matches over the three-day weekend, starting on Friday 12 May (draw).

A month later the selectors’ choices from the weekend will be off to New Zealand for a series that will also include Canada, England and New Zealand (the southern hemisphere’s biggest women’s international rugby tournament for nearly 30 years.

Australia’s Coach, Paul Verrell said: “We have seen some high-quality Rugby at the Buildcorp National Women’s XVs Championships over the last few seasons and in a World Cup year, the pressure is on all teams to put their best foot forward.

We are looking to build a squad that we can take to New Zealand and Dublin and I encourage all players to put their hand up for selection. We will be looking for individuals who have done the work to improve on their performance over the last year."   

Spain have called up a party of 27 players for a training camp this weekend, including a game against Madrid’s regional team on Saturday afternoon. In addition, Spain will also welcome fellow World Cup finalists Hong Kong for a two game tour from the end of April (games on 30th May and 3rd June) before a game against Wales on 8th July.

Spain’s training squad: Isabel Rico (Olímpico de Pozuelo); Aroa Gonzalez (INEF Barcelona); Jeanina Vinueza (CAU Valencia); Isabel Macias (Olímpico de Pozuelo); Laura Delgado (CRAT Universidade da Coruña); Rocio Garcia (Lalin RC); Saioa Jaurena (Getxo Artea); Elena Redondo (Gante RFC [Bélgica] ); Monica Castelo (CRAT Universidade da Coruña); Berta Garcia (CRAT Universidade da Coruña); Maria Ribera (XV Sanse Scrum); Diana Gasso (Gotics); Paula Medin (CRAT Universidade da Coruña); Angela Del Pan (INEF Barcelona); Carmen Perez (Getxo Artea); María Losada (INEF Barcelona); Patricia Garcia (BSORF Blagnac [Francia]); Anne Fernandez de Corres (Complutense Cisneros); Amaia Erbina (Complutense Cisneros); Vanesa Rial (CRAT Universidade da Coruña); Barbara Pla (Getxo Artea); Maria Casado (INEF Barcelona); Iera Echebarría (Olímpico de Pozuelo); Uri Uribarrieta (Getxo Artea); Raquel García Godín (INEF Barcelona); Ingrid Algar (XV Sanse Scrum); Sabina Hurtado (Olímpico de Pozuelo)

The United States and Canada are also getting ready this weekend for the first “Can-Am” series since 2014. The games – at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center – will take place on 28th March and 1st April.

The USA have called up 34 players for the week. Stacey Bridges is most-capped player in the squad with 27 appearances, and is one of five players remaining from 2014. Sarah Chobot will be available for the second game, while Hope Rogers, Cheta Emba and Kate Zackary will be unavailable due to injury, but will attend the camp.

Nine players from the sevens squad, led by Alev Kelter, will also be competing for places including Joanne Fa'avesi, Kayla Canett, Hunter Griendling, Kelly Griffin, Bulou Mataitoga, Ashley Perry, Kristine Sommer, and Kristen Thomas.

USA Squad: Baylee Annis (Seattle Saracens); Kathryn Augustyn (Berkeley All Blues); Catherine Benson (Life West); Sylvia Braaten (Twin Cities Amazons); Stacey Bridges (Twin Cities Amazons); Kayla Canett* (Pennsylvania State University); Ryan Carlyle (Women's Eagles Sevens); Sarah Chobot (Glendale Raptors); Joanne Fa'avesi (Women's Eagles Sevens); Tiffany Faaee (New York Rugby Club); Tess Feury (Pennsylvania State University); Megan Foster (Life West); Jordan Gray (Life West); Hunter Griendling* (San Diego Surfers); Kelly Griffin* (Unattached ); Nicole Heavirland (Women's Eagles Sevens); Alev Kelter (Women's Eagles Sevens); Molly Kinsella (San Diego Surfers); Joanna Kitlinski (Glendale Raptors); Bulou Mataitoga* (Women's Eagles Sevens); Samantha Pankey (San Diego Surfers); Sara Parsons (Northern Virginia Rugby); Annakaren Pedraza* (Lindenwood University); Ashley Perry* (American Rugby Pro Training Center); Christiane Pheil (Chicago North Shore); Naima Reddick (Seattle Saracens); Jamila Reinhardt (San Diego Surfers); Kristine Sommer* (Seattle Saracens); Kelsi Stockert (Women's Eagles Sevens); Nicole Strasko (Women's Eagles Sevens); Naya Tapper (Women's Eagles Sevens); Kristen Thomas* (Women's Eagles Sevens); Alycia Washington (New York Rugby Club); Jess Wooden (Aylesford Rugby Club) (*Indicates player uncapped at international test level).

Canada are preparing at Shawnigan Lake School on Vancouver Island for the games.  Francois Ratier has called up 38 players to prepare for the series, and compete for players in the Canadian squad.

“They all have the skills and fitness to compete at this level, but now we need to reach another level in all aspect of the game to be the best in five months,” Ratier said before the camp began. “We want to play faster, read and execute better, increase the level of our physicality so we are able to play total and adaptive rugby.

“Playing is always the best assessment and nothing replaces international rugby for a team in preparation for the World Cup.”

Canadian squad: Elissa Alarie, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Westshore RFC (Trois Rivieres, QC); Emily Belchos, Westshore RFC (Innisfil, ON); Tyson Beukeboom, Aurora Barbarians/Cowichan RFC (Uxbridge, ON); Latoya Blackwood, Westshore RFC (Montreal, QC); Gillian Boag, Capilano RFC (Calgary, AB); Andrea Burk, Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC); Olivia DeMerchant, Woodstock Wildmen/Castaway Wanderers (Mapledale, NB); Julia Folk, Regina Rogues/Castaway Wanderers (Regina, SK); Julia Goss, Leprechaun Tiger Rugby (Edmonton, AB); Jacey Grusnick, Aurora Barbarians (Alliston, ON); Chelsea Guthrie, Stratchona Druids (Edmonton, AB); Magali Harvey, Club de Rugby de Quebec (Quebec City, QC); Anais Holly, TMRRFC (Montreal, QC); Lori Josephson, Aurora Barbarians (Beaverton, ON); Brittany Kassil, Guelph Redcoats (Guelph, ON); Daria Keane, Guelph Redcoats (Sarnia, ON); Jane Kirby, Highland Fergus Rugby Club (Brampton, ON); Kayla Mack, Saskatoon Wild Oats (Saskatoon, SK); Carolyn McEwen, Burnaby (Vancouver, BC); Katie McNally, Castaway Wanderers (Guelph, ON); DaLeaka Menin, Calgary Hornets (Vulcan, AB); Barbara Mervin, Westshore RFC (Peterborough, ON); Brianna Miller, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/ Westshore RFC (Pointe-Claire, QC); Chelsey Minter, Westshore RFC (Victoria, BC); Cindy Nelles, Belleville Bulldogs (Belleville, ON); Karen Paquin, Club de Rugby de Quebec/ Castaway Wanderers (Quebec City, QC); Camile Provencal-Aube, Abénakiset CRQ/Castaway Wanderers (Sherbrooke, QC); Frederique Rajotte, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC (Montreal, QC); Laura Russell, Toronto Nomads/ Cowichan RFC (Bolton, ON); Kelly Russell, Toronto Nomads/ Cowichan RFC (Bolton, ON); Kristy Sargent, Leprechaun Tigers (Edmonton, AB); Natasha Smith, Barrhaven Scottish/ Cowichan RFC (Ottawa, ON); Demi Stamatakis, SFU (Vancouver, BC); Sara Svoboda, Belleville Bullldogs (Belleville, ON); Alex Tessier, Montreal Barbarians (Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton, QC); Amanda Thornborough, Westshore RFC (Brandon, MB); Brittany Waters, Meraloma Athletic Club/Castaway Wanderers (Vancouver, BC); Julianne Zussman, Castaway Wanderers (Montreal, QC)