Campus Life

Horns' Willoughby added to national roster

University of Lethbridge Pronghorns rugby player, Kelsey Willoughby, will join former Horns standout Ashley Patzer in Hong Kong at the end of the month as part of the Canadian Senior Sevens squad.

Following a successful Rugby Canada camp in Las Vegas in February, both Willoughby and Patzer were named to the roster that will play in the Hong Kong Sevens tournament, beginning Mar. 22.

While Patzer has become a fixture in the senior national program on both the full squad and Sevens teams, second-year Pronghorn Willoughby is one of two new faces added to the Sevens team for the tournament. Brittany Orr was also named a non-traveling reserve for the Hong Kong tournament.
A total of 50 players from across the country were invited to Las Vegas for the tryout camp and tournament, with four teams created for two separate tournaments. The top 12 players played for Canada and the next 12 played for the Maple Leafs in the International tournament, while the remaining players played in the open division for Maple Leafs Red and Maple Leafs Black.
Willoughby, the 2010 Canada West player of the year and 2009 rookie of the year, earned her first look at senior level play at the Las Vegas camp and, despite not making the top team for the international tournament, she made an impression while playing for the Maple Leafs. This past summer, Willoughby starred for the Canada U20 team at the 2010 North American Caribbean Rugby Association regional tournament.
Patzer, the most decorated rugby player in Pronghorn history, was part of the Canadian team that won the Las Vegas International, defeating the Netherlands 22-17 in the final. The two-time CIS player of the year won three CIS and four Canada West titles over her Pronghorn career.
Patzer played for Canada in the Women's World Cup of Rugby this past summer, and was Canada's leading scorer and the tournament's fourth leading scorer in the last Sevens World Cup in Dubai in 2009.
With the inclusion of Sevens rugby in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, events such as the highly competitive Hong Kong tournament take on added importance in terms of player development. The team assembles in Victoria, B.C. for a training camp, Mar. 18-21, before departing for Hong Kong on Mar. 22.