Photo courtesy of Catherine Goce
Britni French has been the Captain of the women’s rugby team two years in a row now, making her an incredibly vital part of the team. French is a strong leader on the team as well as a highly-skilled player, having achieved the honour of returning to the U SPORTS All-Canadian second-team for the second year in a row last year.
French’s style of leadership is grounded in experience, knowledge and in creating a positive atmosphere on the team. All together, this creates a welcoming atmosphere without losing a competitive and stimulating environment.
“My role hasn’t really changed much since last year. I’m still in that captain role, a leader, and I have been around the most out of everyone. My role has been trying to create a really positive atmosphere on our team, we have a lot of talks about positivity and having that positive talk on the field.”
The team is taking an assertive mindset towards the season ahead. Going forward with the right mindset will help them to win games.
“This year we have a very young team and we’re trying to realize that we’re still capable of doing those really awesome things [that] we have done in the past. A lot of the times I find people in life think like if this happens, but we’re having those conversations like when this happens we are going to do this.” French said
The team this year is comprised of many young players, although this in no way impedes their potential especially with strong leaders present on the team. This also bodes well for the team in future years as they will grow together and learn how to play off of each other’s strengths.
“I think there’s a lot of benefits. A lot of the time when you have a young team you are underestimated which frees you from that constraint of being [at] the top. We want to get there but having a young team allows people to show themselves a lot of new opportunities and it’s really exciting to see those people shift from more of a supporting role or coming off the bench and now they’re starting.”
The assistant coach for the team, Kailyn Jones, was recognized last year as Rugby Canada’s female coach of the year for her work with her club team. This is, of course, a big deal and the fact that they have such a decorated and talented coach is one of the key factors that could contribute to their success this season.
“Coach Jones, well Jonesie to us, is awesome. I’ve gotten to play for her both at school and she coaches club as well. It’s really awesome to be coached by a strong female, there’s not a lot of female coaches in the world of rugby and it’s really awesome to see more and more people stepping into those roles. She has great ideas, she’s really passionate about what she does and I really enjoy playing for her.”
The women’s rugby team is looking forward to a challenging but great season. You can catch them at their next game on Sep. 14 against the Brock Badgers.