The Mexican national women’s rugby sevens team is taking on Canada at Brentwood College School on Tuesday afternoon. (Submitted)

Canada faces Mexico in women’s sevens on Tuesday

Cowichan Valley coach preparing Mexico for first World Cup

Rugby fans, take note.

Canada will take on Mexico at Brentwood College School on Tuesday afternoon in a pair of warmup matches for the upcoming Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament.

The Mexican team qualified late last year for its first ever appearance at the World Cup. Mexico’s head coach is Robin MacDowell, a graduate of Cowichan Secondary School and product of the Cowichan Rugby Football Club, and he’s bringing the team to his hometown for some eleventh-hour preparations, including Tuesday’s match and a camp with local kids at the CRFC pitch on Wednesday.

The World Cup takes place in San Francisco on July 20-22.

“For me, it is going to a special opportunity for my athletes to enjoy Cowichan Rugby’s incredible hospitality, and it is full circle to bring my team home to the Valley where my rugby journey all began,” MacDowell said. “Rugby has taken me all over the world, and it’s all thanks to my roots on Herd Road.

“It is a unique opportunity for Mexico and Canada to go head-to-head at Brentwood College just over a week ahead of the World Cup. For us it will help us adapt to the pace as we take on Canada who is ranked third going into to the World Cup. We will face current world champions New Zealand in our first match. I am very thankful that Canadian coach John Tait had accommodated to play us this week. It will set both programs up for success.”

The Canadian women’s sevens roster for the World Cup includes one Vancouver Island product: Victoria’s Caroline Crossley.

Tuesday’s doubleheader at Brentwood will take place at 2:30 p.m. The camp on Wednesday will take place at Piggy Park on Herd Road. Team Mexico will train from 4-5:30 p.m., followed by a free kids camp with the players from 6-7 p.m.

MacDowell will be back on Vancouver Island in August for a series of camps featuring Pat Kay, a Duncan product and member of the national men’s sevens team. Camps will take place in Cowichan on Aug. 23, Nanaimo on Aug. 24 and Westshore on Aug. 25. Each session is $40. More information is available at www.macdowellrugby.ca/camps

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