Canada’s senior women’s rugby team, led by three former Guelph Gryphons on the field and two on the sidelines, has advanced to the finals of the women’s rugby World Cup in France.
The Canadian team pulled out a tense 18-16 victory over the home side in Wednesday’s game. The match before 20,000 mostly French fans was led by Canada 18-6 before two late French tries tightened the score. France missed both conversion opportunities, and Canada held off the French side in the last few minutes to secure the win.
The Canadians will play England in the final on Sunday.
Gryphon alumni Jacey Murphy, Jane Kirby and Brittany Benn are all team members. Guelph grad Meaghan Howat is manager of the national women’s program. Colette McAuley, head coach of the Gryphon women’s rugby team, is an assistant coach on the national squad.
Murphy, Kirby and Benn played on championship Guelph teams, including winning numerous provincial gold medals and the 2012 national gold medal. That year, the Gryphons dominated their competition and won the final match against St. Francis Xavier University 28-0.
The Canadian team will now play a strong English squad, which won its semifinal match against Ireland 40-7. Earlier in the tournament, Canada played England to a 13-13 tie.
The final match on Sunday, 12:30 p.m. EST, will air live on TSN2.