Magali Harvey traveled to New Zealand to learn. And she is confident of having the tools to win her place on the Canadian rugby union team in preparation for the World Cup.
After experiencing the disappointment of his exclusion from the national 7-a-side rugby team just prior to the Rio Olympics, the Québec City athlete decided to take the big steps to relieve these emotions. And after a few months in New Zealand, and a visit to Japan, she feels of attack for the next step.
“I’m really excited for the World Cup,” she said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “I really hope to be able to use my new tools with the team, while following the plan of coach François Ratier.”
During his exile in the kingdom of rugby, Harvey kept in touch with Ratier by sending him the videos of his matches, thus ensuring that his experience would benefit him. “In general, he seemed satisfied. It is good to give his impressions without swelling my head! He also told me what to work on. ”
At the age of 26, Harvey was able to immerse himself in the culture of rugby, the national sport of New Zealand. She first wore the colors of the provincial rugby union team of Waikato before going to Japan. On her return to New Zealand, she played for Hamilton Old Boys, before training with Waikato’s 7-man rugby team.
“I was not allowed to play with the 7-man rugby team because I’m still part of the Canadian team,” Harvey said. “I was able to train with the team and it was interesting to see the differences in training and coaching compared to what is happening in Canada.”
She now maintains a better tactical understanding of rugby. “In rugby in Canada, we get through difficult situations with our athletics, not with our understanding of the game,” she said. “I’m not saying that girls are not fit in New Zealand, but they have a better understanding of the game.
“The level is also generally higher. The game is faster, the technique is better. I had to outdo myself to get some time. ”
Harvey will have a first opportunity to demonstrate her new skills next week as she returns to British Columbia for a first-ever gathering of the top 40 players in Canada. Only 26 players will then be invited to go to San Diego for two games against the United States.
If everything goes well, Harvey will return to New Zealand in late spring to play three preparatory games with the Canadian team against Australia, England and New Zealand. The Women’s World Rugby Union Cup will then take place from 9 to 26 August in Ireland. In the last edition, in 2014, Canada had won the money, thanks to the brilliance of Harvey. She was named the player of the year according to the World Rugby Federation.