A pair of Abbotsford rugby talents both suited up for Canada’s senior 7 women’s national team rugby 7 in Dubai and wore the red and white jersey in Cape Town, South Africa this weekend.
Abbotsford products Nakisa Levale and Shalaya Valenzuela perform in South Africa from Friday (9 December) to Sunday (11 December) and it is possible that both will be in the lineup when the Women’s World Rugby Series 7 comes to the BC Vancouver Place in March.
Canada opened with a 19-14 loss to the United States in Dubai on December 2 and also lost 33-5 to Samoa later that day. They ended the day with a 28-14 win over Japan to settle the pool game at 1-2.
Quarter-final action saw Canada lose 17-7 to Kenya on December 3, but then bounced back with a 29-0 win over Uganda later that day. Canada closed the event with a 38-7 loss to Spain. The team earned a total of four points in Dubai and sits in ninth place in the 13 team series.
Canada opened the South African event by drawing 19-19 against France and losing 24-7 to the United States on Friday. Canada faced Japan on the second day of the event.
The 25-year-old Levale is a 2015 graduate of Abbotsford High School and plays for the Panthers and Abbotsford Rugby Football Club locally. He helped the Panthers win two AA provincial titles in rugby. He went on to play varsity rugby with the University of Victoria Vikes and was named a Canada West star and helped Vikes win the CW title in 2016.
After her time in Victoria, she went on to represent Canada in the sport several times internationally before joining Canada’s senior women’s rugby 7 team.
Valenzuela is a graduate of Yale High School who has also played with ARFC and Victoria Vikes. He made his national debut earlier this month at the Dubai event. Valenzuela spent two years at Rugby Canada Maple Leaf Academy and played for the BC Bears U23 team last summer.
She also spent time with the UFV Cascades women’s rugby program and represented BC and Canada on the national and international stages as a junior player.
For more information about the team, visit rugby.ca/en/rugby-7s/senior-women.
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