Female Canadian rugby star to make history at inaugural tournament

Kelly Russell will play on the first ever women’s Barbarian team

Canadian captain Kelly Russell will make rugby history Nov. 10 when she takes part in the inaugural match for the women’s Barbarians.

Barbarian FC, home to the famous invitational world all-star side, was founded in 1890 but it has taken 127 years for women to join the men.

Russell won her 50th cap for Canada during this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Ireland. The 30-year-old back-rower from Bolton, Ont., also helped Canada to a bronze medal in sevens at the 2016 Olympics.

The female Barbarians will make their debut against Munster at Thomond Park in Limerick, Ireland. It’s the first of several matches planned for the 2017-18 season against club, provincial and international sides.

The full schedule will be confirmed later this year.

“We’re delighted to open a new chapter in the Barbarian FC’s history with the creation of our women’s team this season,” Barbarians chairman John Spencer said in a statement. “Its formation is something we’ve been working towards for a number of years and it is a reflection of the excellence of the global women’s game which was showcased so brilliantly at this year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland.”

Giselle Mather, the Wasps FC director of rugby and a World Cup winner with England in 1994, will coach the team.

“The Barbarians are one of the reasons I fell in love with rugby and to be coaching this side is a massive honour,” said Mather. “I can’t wait to get these players from all different nationalities together with everything they bring from their different environments. It’s going to be a massive opportunity for all these athletes.”

Other players who have already committed to the Barbarians team for the Munster game include Susie Brown (Scotland), Fiona Coghlan (Ireland), Claire Cripps and Megan Goddard (England), Elen Evans (Wales), Emma Jenson (New Zealand) and Christelle Le Duff (France).

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

Politicians endorse rec centre design

Financing plan the next step

Alberta truckers send truck-load of toys

Locals also encouraged to donate to help families in need this Christmas

Firefighters visit elementary schools

‘Plan two ways out’ main message to students

Tee-shirt sales raise $100,000 for wildfire aid

Cariboo Strong tees, sweatshirts and decals help support fire victims

Communities come together to ‘Take Back the Night’

Men, women, children, First Nation leaders and politicians were out in force… Continue reading

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

Cariboo Regional District wants say in pot legalization

Compliance and enforcement likely to fall on shoulders of municipal governments

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Getting people working key component of wildfire recovery: CRD chair

Provincial and federal governments urged to push projects forward

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Most Read