Tavia Bakowski/COC
Tavia Bakowski/COC

Counting down to Olympic debut, Canada’s rugby team enjoys special sendoff

Ten days before the start of Rio 2016, Rugby Canada women’s team had a remarkable sendoff on Tuesday, at Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto.

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The celebration was attended by hundreds of fans, who had the opportunity to get autographs, take pictures and show all their support for the first-ever Canadian Olympic women’s rugby sevens team.

The players were impressed by a large gathering of fans from multiples generations at the event, who got rugby balls, posters and jerseys autographed by the Rio 2016 Olympic hopefuls.

“There was a ton of family and a ton of fans that have picked up on rugby and that’s super cool and kind of what we’ve wanted over the last couple years, » Canada’s top scorer Ghislaine Landry told Rugby Canada. « So, it’s pretty special to see that play out in real time,” 

Rio 2016 Rugby Team for Canada after the send-off at Nathan Phillips Square on July 26, 2016. (Tavia Bakowski/COC)

Rio 2016 Rugby Team for Canada after the send-off at Nathan Phillips Square on July 26, 2016. (Tavia Bakowski/COC)

The Olympic women’s competition will take place at Deodoro Stadium, from August 6 to 8. Canada will make its debut against Japan, followed by the hosts Brazil and the Great Britain, in the group stage.

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Rio 2016 will mark the return of rugby to the Olympic Games, which was last under the rings in 1924 in the traditional 15-aside version of the sport.