Two Lions women’s rugby players named to Canada’s U20 squad

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York University Lions women’s rugby players Tobi Owotomo and Megan Pakulis were named to Rugby Canada’s U20 team and will face England in a three-game series later this month.

Megan Pakulis
Megan Pakulis
Tobi Owotomo
Tobi Owotomo

Owotomo, of Mississauga, Ont., is coming off an outstanding rookie season for the Lions in 2015, where she was named the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Russell Division rookie of the year. She led all OUA rookies in scoring with four tries in five games, and earned a spot on the long list for Canada’s Senior Rugby 15’s team.

Pakulis, of Scarborough, Ont., was also a rookie on the Lions roster in 2015. The kinesiology and health science major recently played with Owotomo on the Ontario Blue’s U20 team and won the gold medal at the 2016 U20 Canadian Rugby Championships.

Owotomo and Pakulis are part of the 26-player squad which will face England at Trent College in Nottingham, England, on Aug. 18, 22 and 26.

“This team is very athletic, fast, mobile and physically imposing,” said head coach Jen Boyd. “We have selected a versatile squad. We have athletes capable of playing several positions which will prove invaluable deep into tour.”

Trent College is the location of Canada’s incredible 2013 success where they claimed the U20 Nations Cup. Canada beat the U.S.A. 27-3 in the final after going 3-0 in the pool stages with wins over the U.S.A., South Africa and England. They conceded just 33 points throughout the tournament under head coach Sandro Fiorino.

“The level is much higher than last year and this is a testament to the growing U18 Women’s program as well as the CIS,” Boyd said. “Coaches have recognized the need for a 12-month high performance environment for our elite athletes. It is paying off. Some very good rugby players were left off of the travelling squads. The coaching staff had to make difficult decisions.”

For the full roster announcement, visit the Rugby Canada website.

Owotomo and Pakulis will be back on the field for the Lions when they open the 2016 season at home against the Brock Badgers on Friday, Sept. 9 at 7pm.