Rugby women forced to play in Ottawa this year

Rugby women forced to play in Ottawa this year
Cora Lauzon

CORNWALL, Ontario – Looks like female rugby players in Cornwall are in for a bit of a commute this year.

Thanks to conflicting school schedules and other problems, female members of the Cornwall Crusaders rugby club will have to lace up their cleats and head to Ottawa if they want to hit the rugby field this summer.

Cora Lauzon, one of the die-hard members of the team, said a number of players have commitments at school, while others who want to play haven’t quite reached the age limit yet, creating a headache for organizers this year.

“We just don’t have the numbers,” she said in an interview, adding if there is a last-minute rush of eligible players things could change. “If we have a big boost now we might be able to squeeze a team in.”

For now the handful of girls looking to play rugby this summer will join up with their sisters on the Ottawa Wolves – a first-year team in the nation’s capital making its debut in the Eastern Ontario Division One female rugby league.

“It will be nice to have a lot of girls come up and play for Ottawa,” said Lauzon, who fell in love with the sport while still in high school.

She said her affinity for rugby began at Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School when she failed to make the soccer team.

“My girlfriend encouraged me to come out for rugby,” she said. “I was a bit afraid of the tackling and the contact.

“But I’ve found out it’s a really technical sport. It’s not about taking another person down to the ground. Once you learn the back story of what you’re doing out on the field, it’s a lot of fun.”

The Cornwall Crusaders have only been playing for a few years, and new members are schooled on the intricacies of the game before they actually hit the field.

Other clubs, especially those with deep-running roots like that if Kingston, are perennial powerhouses in the league which also includes teams from Brockville, Hull and Petawawa.

The schedule runs from May to August, and Lauzon added the team also registers for tournaments outside of league play, including one in Potsdam, N.Y.

For more information about the Crusaders, contact Lauzon at 343-370-5336.

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