Canadian rugby international Sophie de Goede signs with England's Saracens

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LONDON — Canadian rugby international Sophie de Goede has signed with England's Saracens.

The No. 8 from Victoria, who can also play flanker and lock, captained Canada at the youth level. The 21-year-old has won six caps for Canada at the senior level.

The Saracens women currently stand second in the 10-team Allianz Premier 15s table at 3-0-0. They are the two-time defending champions.

“I have long been an admirer of Sophie having first seen her play in an under-18 international fixture," Saracens head coach Alex Austerberry said in a statement.

“Her athleticism, power, unique skill set and leadership were evident even then. Her talent was already very obvious and her potential truly exciting. I kept an eye on her progression and it was not long before she established herself as a senior Maple Leaf."

De Goede played both rugby and basketball at Queen's University where she was named U Sports women's rugby player of the year in 2018.

Both her parents are members of the Rugby Canada Hall of Fame.

Hans de Goede was a hard-nosed forward who captained Canada at the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987. Mother Stephanie White was skipper of the first Canadian women's rugby team in 1987 and served as co-captain and captain at the 1991 and '94 World Cups, respectively.

Sophie's brother, Thyssen de Goede, represented Canada at the senior level/and captained the Canadian under-20 team.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2020

The Canadian Press