Abbotsford rugby talent representing B.C.

Trio of local products competing at Canadian Rugby Championships

A trio of Abbotsford female rugby talents are set to represent the province next week.

Abbotsford Rugby Football Club products Vivianna Johnson, Ashlynn Smith and Shalaya Valenzuela have all been named to Team B.C.’s U20 women’s XV squad at the Canadian Rugby Championships, which run from July 16 to 22 in Saskatoon.

The tournament brings together the top talent from across the country at a number of different age groups.

B.C. opens on July 16 against the Ontario Blues, then takes on the Prairie Wolfpack on July 18. The club continues against Equipe Quebec on July 21 and then Nova Scotia on July 22.

Head coach Walt Brandl said he’s optimistic about his team’s chance.

“Although only five of the players return from last year’s U20 team, they have quickly developed a good chemistry,” he said. “This will serve us well in the pressure of a national tournament and speaks to the strong character of the individuals selected. With a stronger tight five than previous years, we will be able to win more possession. This, combined with improved team speed should open up plenty of scoring opportunities.”

There was no official CRC tournament held for the U20 women in 2017, with the B.C. team playing some standalone matches against Prairie Wolfpack.

For more on the event, visit canadianrugbychampionship.com.

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