Queen’s Women’s Rugby to face US national U20 and U23 teams in Ottawa

Photo via Queen’s Gaels.

The first annual Garnet and Gold Classic will take place at the University of Ottawa on Jul. 17 and 19, 2022. Queen’s Women’s Rugby will face the United States U20 and U23 national rugby teams.

Coming off their U SPORTS Women’s Rugby National Championship this past fall, the Gaels will compete in the four-game, four-team series that will also feature the U SPORTS Women’s Rugby silver medallists and hosts, Ottawa Gee-Gees, according to a release from the Queen’s Gaels.

Queen’s will play the United States U20 national team on Sunday, July 17 and the United States U23 national team on Tuesday, July 19.

“This is a really cool opportunity for Queen’s Women’s Rugby and we’re looking forward to the challenge that it presents,” said Queen’s Women’s Rugby Head Coach and OUA Coach of the Year Dan Valley. “University rugby in the USA has been getting stronger every year, so for our program to have the privilege of competing against the USA U20 and U23 programs is very special.”

“We’ve always endeavoured to have Queen’s be a destination for athletes aspiring to play for the Canadian national team, and for our program to now have the opportunity to compete against an international squad is unique and will be memorable for all involved,” Valley continued. “I think this series will be a really neat showcase for U SPORTS in general, and U SPORTS Women’s Rugby in particular. Seeing two U SPORTS programs getting to compete against International teams is very rare, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure that we are up to the task.”

According to the Gaels, all matches will take place at Matt Anthony Field on the campus of the University of Ottawa. Admission to all matches is free.

2022 Garnet and Gold Classic Schedule:

Sunday, July 17

  • Queen’s vs. USA U20 – TIME TBA
  • Ottawa vs. USA U23 – TIME TBA

Tuesday, July 19

  • Queen’s vs. USA U23 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Ottawa vs. USA U20 – 6:30 p.m.

The Gaels’ roster for the Garnet and Gold Cup will be loaded with national-team calibre talent, the organization stated. According to the release, U SPORTS All-Canadians Maddy Kushner and Carmen Izyk, OUA All-Star Jaden Walker and Next-Gen 7s star and 2019 U SPORTS Women’s Rugby Championship All-Star Back Rower Siobhan Sheerin will lead the Gaels into the summer clash.

The series will also see the debut of former World Rugby Player of the Year Magali Harvey and the return of 2019 OUA and U SPORTS Rookie of the Year and All-Canadian Back Rower Lizzie Gibson, according to the release. Rugby Canada Development Academy athletes Aleisha Rose, Keira Alferez, Rachel Cullum and Jess Hynes will also be making their debuts for the Gaels.

According to the release, the Gaels defeated the Gee-Gees 26-18 at Nixon Field on Queen’s campus to capture their first U SPORTS Women’s Rugby national championship this past fall.

The Gaels said that they will kick off their official U SPORTS title defence with the 2022 OUA regular-season opener scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, against the York Lions.

The Garnet and Gold Classic will be the first international match for the United States U20 and U23 teams since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release. The United States U20 national team qualified for the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2008 and 2013. At the senior level, the United States National Women’s Team is ranked fifth in the world, one spot behind Canada.

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