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

Shuttle to run every half hour from ski hill

City of Fernie, FAR and Tourism Fernie partnership brings regular shuttle service

Fernie Substation reaches milestone

The Fernie Substation has been in desperate need of an upgrade for… Continue reading

Elk Valley teams place top eight in province

Three teams from the Elk Valley placed in the top eight at… Continue reading

Shred Kelly releasing 4th album

The Fernie-rooted band is home to play at The Northern Bar and Stage this Friday, December 15.

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

Introducing an in-depth look at who is affected and what can be done

More than 20,000 pounds of garbage removed from riverside homeless camps

Two camps taken down last week on the banks of the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Bomb detonated in Kamloops neighbourhood

Kamloops RCMP are investigating after an improvised explosive device was detonated Wednesday morning

No More Shootouts: Strong defence will be Canada’s backbone at world juniors

Head coach doesn’t want a situation where a hot goalie or a lucky bounce can determine a team’s fate

Proposed snowmobiles along Sicamous roads concern RCMP

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with proposed off-road bylaw in the B.C. Interior

‘Assemble your own meal’ kits grow into $120M industry in Canada

Kits offer a middle ground between eating out and grocery shopping

Most Read