Sports

Surrey rugby player off to France for women's World Cup

Julia Sugawara tackles an opposnent from Scotland at the 2010 World Cup in England. - INTERNATIONAL RUGBY BOARD PHOTO
Julia Sugawara tackles an opposnent from Scotland at the 2010 World Cup in England.
— image credit: INTERNATIONAL RUGBY BOARD PHOTO

Julia Sugawara will play for Canada at the IRB (International Rugby Board) World Cup next month in Paris.

The Surrey resident and member of the Burnaby Lake rugby club is among 26 players named to the national team by Rugby Canada.

Canada is in Pool A for the 12-team World Cup, grouped with Spain, Samoa and England. Canada has won both World Cup matches with Spain, the most recent in 2006, and has yet to play Samoa in international competition. Their first game is against Spain on Aug. 1.

Canada has played at all six Women’s rugby World Cup tournament, the first of which took place in 1991.

The best performance is fourth place, achieved three times. Canada was sixth at the 2010 tournament.

Sugawara was a member of Canadian teams which have placed fourth in Edmonton in 2006 and sixth in England in 2010.

“I think that leadership and experience is one of my strengths, especially for some of the younger players that are coming in that aren’t quite sure of themselves,” Sugawara said in a Rugby Canada release. “It helps to be able to tell them ‘it’s okay we’ve all been there.’ ”

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