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Veteran forward Tyson Beukeboom poised to enter Canadian rugby record book

Canada women's rugby coach Kevin Rouet has named his roster for the Pacific Four Series with veteran forward Tyson Beukeboom poised to enter the Canadian record book.

The 33-year-old lock from Uxbridge, Ont., who goes into the four-team tournament with 65 caps, can surpass Gillian Florence (67 caps) as Canada's most-capped women’s rugby player of all time.

The fourth-ranked Canadian women will hold a camp in Langford, B.C., before leaving for Los Angeles to play the ninth-ranked United States on April 28. The team then flies to Australia to face the fifth-ranked Wallaroos on May 11 in Sydney before taking on the World Cup champion New Zealand Black Ferns, currently ranked second in the world, on May 19 in Christchurch.

For the second year in a row, the Pacific Four Series will serve as qualifier for WXV 1, with the top three teams advancing to the elite tier of the three-division WXV tournament. The WXV 1 will also feature the top three sides from the Women's Six Nations Championship, currently underway with top-ranked England leading the standings.

Canada was runner-up at last year's Pacific Four tournament, defeating the U.S. 50-7 in Madrid before coming home to Ottawa where it downed Australia 45-7 and lost 52-21 to New Zealand in front of a Canadian women's record crowd of 10,092 at TD Place

“Since we hosted the Pacific Four Series in Ottawa last year, our team has continued to grow and develop with a very strong group of core players as we prepare to qualify for WXV and as we look forward to the 2025 Rugby World Cup,” Rouet said in a statement.

“Many of our players have continued to play at a high level since we were last together for WXV in the fall, competing in Canada, internationally and on the HSBC SVNS Series."

Sports runs in the Beukeboom family.

Tyson's father, Jeff Beukeboom, played 13 seasons in the NHL with Edmonton and the New York Rangers. He won three Stanley Cups with the Oilers (1987, ‘88 and ‘90) and one with the Rangers (1994).

Her brother Brock played in the ECHL and abroad in Austria, Denmark and Scotland.

Cousins Brett and Matt Beukeboom both represented Canada in rugby. Their father, John Beukeboom, won the 1979 Memorial Cup as a defenceman with the Peterborough Petes. An eighth-round draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings, he went on to spend six seasons in the minors, where he collected more than 1,000 penalty minutes.

Two other cousins played on the Canadian women’s water polo team.

Olivia Apps, Fancy Bermudez, Pamphinette Buisa, Sabrina Poulin and captain Sophie de Goede join the Canada squad after representing Canada at the Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens last weekend.

Olivia DeMerchant (57 caps), Alex Tessier (48 caps) and Brittany Kassil (38 caps) are also closing in on cap milestones for Canada.


Canada Roster

Forwards

Alexandria Ellis, Ottawa, Stade Français (France); Brittany Kassil, Guelph, Ont., Guelph RFC; Cassandra Tuffnail. Heidelberg, Ont., Ealing Trailfinders (England); Courtney Holtkamp, Rimbey, Alta., Red Deer Titans Rugby; DaLeaka Menin, Vulcan, Alta., Exeter Chiefs (England) ; Emily Tuttosi, Souris, Man., Exeter Chiefs (England); Fabiola Forteza, Quebec City, Stade Bordelais (France); Gabrielle Senft, Regina, Stade Bordelais ((France); Gillian Boag, Calgary, Capilano RFC; Julia Omokhuale, Calgary, Leicester Tigers (England); Laetitia Royer, Loretteville, Que., ASM Romagnat (France); McKinley Hunt, King City, Ont., Saracens (England); Olivia DeMerchant, Mapledale, N.B., Halifax Tars RFC; Pamphinette Buisa, Gatineau, Que., Ottawa Irish; Sara Cline, Edmonton, Western Force (Australia); Sara Svoboda, Belleville, Ont., Loughborough Lightning (England); Sophie de Goede, Victoria, Saracens (England); Tyson Beukeboom, Uxbridge, Ont., Ealing Trailfinders (England).

Backs

Alexandra Tessier, Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton, Que., Exeter Chiefs (England); Claire Gallagher, Caledon, Ont., Leicester Tigers (England); Fancy Bermudez, Edmonton, Westshore RFC; Julia Schell, Uxbridge, Ont., Ealing Trailfinders (England); Justine Pelletier, Riviere-du-Loup, Que., Stade Bordelais (France); Maddie Grant, Cornwall, Ont., Cornwall Claymores; Mahalia Robinson, Fulford, Que., Town of Mount Royal RFC; Olivia Apps, Lindsay, Ont., Lindsay RFC; Paige Farries, Red Deer, Alta., Saracens (England); Sabrina Poulin, St-Georges, Que., Town of Mount Royal RFC; Sarah-Maude Lachance, Victoriaville, Que., Stade Bordelais (France); Shoshanah Seumanutafa, White Rock, B.C., Chiefs Manawa (New Zealand).

Non-Travelling Reserves

Ashlynn Smith, Abbotsford, B.C., University of Calgary; Audrey Champagne, Quebec City, Universite Laval; Corinne Frechette, Saint-Zephirin-de-Courval, Que., Universite Laval; Demi Swann, Georgetown, Ont., Exeter Chiefs; Eden Kilgour, Barrie, Ont., Aurora Barbarians; Emily Belchos, Innisfil, Ont., Castaway Wanderers; Emma Taylor, Scotsburn, N.S., Halifax RFC; Jordan McLeod, Rivers, Man., UBC; Larah Wright, Calgary, University of Victoria; Lizzie Gibson, Caledon, Ont., Queen’s University; Magali Harvey, Quebec City, Stade Bordelais (France); Maggie Mackinnon, Sooke, B.C., University of Victoria; Maya Montiel, Dieppe, N.B., Saracens (England); Mikiela Nelson, North Vancouver, Capilano RFC; Mya Brubacher, West Montrose, Ont., Queen’s University; Rachel Smith, South Surrey, B.C., UBC; Rosalie Lepage, Quebec City, Universite Laval; Taylor Perry, Oakville, Ont., Oakville Crusaders.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2024.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press