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King City’s Hunt to suit up for U20 National rugby team

August 10, 2016   ·   0 Comments

McKinley Hunt, pictured here winning the U20 Canadian Championship with the Ontario Storm, has been selected to represent Canada in a series with the England U20 squad next week.
Photo by Jeff Chan

 

By Jake Courtepatte
While continuing to dominate the competition in her home country, McKinley Hunt has been granted the opportunity to put her talents to the test across the pond.
The Country Day School graduate has been selected to represent Canada at the under-20 level against England’s under-20 squad next week, marking her first time representing her Canada in rugby.
“This has been a dream of mine,” said McKinley, who learned she had been long listed for the team back in February. “It has been a long time coming, lots of early mornings and late nights.”
Her passion has landed Hunt a long list of accomplishments. Aside from her four trophies with CDS, she also captained the under-20 Provincial Ontario Storm team to gold at the 2016 Canadian Rugby Championships in early July.
She hopes this experience at the provincial level can translate to the national stage.
“This is my first time competing for Canada. I am so excited to wear the red and white. This has been something that I have been dreaming of for a long time. Not many people can say they have represented their country and I’m lucky enough to have that honour.”
Upon arrival in England on Aug. 13, the 26-member team will practice for five days before their first game on Aug. 18. Two more games are to follow over the next week, all played at Trent College in Nottingham.
Hunt said she expects the competition to be “exceptional.”
“Rugby has a proud history in England. It’s part of their culture and they grow up surrounded by the sport. I expect that this will contribute to a strong group of talented rugby players. I’m excited for the challenge.”
“There is no greater test for an athlete’s skills, conditioning and mental fortitude than playing an international competition against the best rugby players in the world,” said Jen Boyd, U20 Women’s head coach. “These tours are pivotal for the next group of athletes interested in playing at the senior level.”
First taking the field for the CDS Cyclones in Grade 9, Hunt became a leader for the perennially-successful team both on and off the field. Four years later, she captained the CDS Senior Girls’ team to its 11th consecutive CISAA championship.
“My four years playing for CDS greatly contributed to my success as a rugby player,” said Hunt. “As a lifer, I grew up watching the team win title after title. When I joined in grade nine I knew nothing about the sport but I quickly fell in love with the teamwork and sisterhood that the sport develops. My CDS coaches and teammates have always supported me in my pursuit of rugby at the elite level.”
Hunt also plays for the senior Aurora Barbarians, fresh off an Ontario Women’s League provincial championship last weekend, and will suit up for Queen’s University in the fall for a second season.

         

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