York University Lions women’s rugby player Tiera Thomas-Reynolds has been selected to represent Canada at the 5th World University Rugby Sevens Championship, taking place in Brive-La-Gaillarde, France, July 11-13.
Lions teammate Sarah Campbell may also play for the team, as she was selected as one of three non-travelling reserves.
Thomas-Reynolds, a five-year veteran of the Lions women’s rugby program, has been a team captain for four years. She is a two-time Ontario University Athletics (OUA) all-star and last year led the OUA Russell Division in points and tries scored while also earning team MVP honours. A fearsome competitor with a natural athletic ability that is difficult to compete with, she will be looked upon to play the role of finisher for the Canadian squad at the tournament.
Campbell recently completed her rookie season with the Lions and made an immediate impact on the league, earning OUA all-star honours, the team MVP award and the team “hitman award” for the biggest and most consistent tackler on the team.
With a greater international focus on the sport of rugby sevens – it was added to the Olympic program in 2009 and will make its debut in 2016 – York head coach Joe Costello and his coaching staff have worked hard to embrace a robust sevens program to provide an opportunity for Lions student-athletes to experience and learn the game.
As part of that process, Costello brought in Sandro Fiorino, now a member of the Canadian women’s sevens coaching staff, to work with the athletes and also took members of the team to Las Vegas last year to experience top-level sevens rugby as both players and spectators.
“The York program is committed to providing women’s rugby athletes exposure to sevens rugby and opportunities to develop and showcase their talents in front of provincial and national selectors,” said Costello. “The coaching staff and athletes in York’s women’s rugby program are very proud of Tiera and Sarah. This is an amazing achievement for them to be chosen to represent Canada and we wish them the best of luck this summer!”
Campbell will return to the Lions in the fall for her second season with the squad in the OUA. The Lions’ complete 2012 schedule will be released in June.