Prince Rupert rugby player Hannah Scherr is testing her game on the international stage.
Scherr traveled to France on July 4 where she has been training with the Celtic Barbarians Rugby Football Club U18 girls team. The club team — which is made up of players from the U.S., Canada and England — is competing in the 2018 Paris World Games rugby sevens tournament which will take place on July 7 and 8. The Barbarians will compete against club teams from France, Hong Kong, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.
Scherr is one of two B.C. players invited to play on the team — Maggie Banks of Coquitlam B.C. is currently training at a Rugby Canada camp — and the only one traveling to the tournament.
“The chance for her as a player to be coached at a higher level and to be practicing with athletes that will be pushing her competitively as teammates is awesome,” said Amanda Barney, coach of the Charles Hays Secondary School girls rugby team. “To have a female player form Prince Rupert have this opportunity is amazing.”
The team has spent the past three days receiving drilling and strategy instruction from French national team coaches at the French national team’s facility.
Cam Wilton, the head coach of the Barbarians, said it was good for the team to receive a fresh perspective on the game from high-level instructors and that Scherr is benefiting from the exposure.
“Even in the last 48 hours she has improved a lot and is gaining back confidence from her previous injury,” he said.
Wilton was complimentary of Scherr’s game, saying that while she still has to develop her skills as a player, she has the strength and athleticism to compete at a high level.
“She’s powerful and has a high work rate,” he said. “Her skill set is more suited to 15s play but playing 7s has helped her to get better.”
Barney said the total experience of competing overseas is something that will help Scherr develop confidence both on and off the field.
“You may remember some of your wins and losses, but you just come back feeling different,” Barney said. “The rugby community in Prince Rupert is proud of her.”