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Kelly Russell knows younger sister Laura is never too far behind her on the rugby pit
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Kelly Russell knows younger sister Laura is never too far behind her on the rugby pitch. Byron Buxton Jersey . And thats good news for Canada. Kelly, who plays No. 8 at the back of the scrum, is captain of the Canadian womens team. Younger sister Laura is a prop, plying her trade at the forwards coal face. "We know each others tendencies on the field so its always great to play with her," said Kelly, who at 27 has two years on her sister. "Shes a hard worker, so anywhere Im around the pitch shes there too. I always know shes got my back." Kelly Russell has 24 more women behind her as Canada gears up for Fridays Womens Rugby World Cup opener against Spain in France. A quiet leader, Russell has the respect of her Canadian crew. "Kellys amazing," said veteran centre Mandy Marchak. "Shes very focused, very strong-minded. She understand what it is to be a part of such a big team and she leads by example. Shes quiet but when she speaks, it speaks volumes. She backs everything she says by how she plays. "Shes very strong on the field -- individually and for the team. Shes a really important part of the team. Kelly and I have been friends for a pretty long time and (shes) somebody I look up to." Marchak and Russell share a moment before each game. "Something I feel I personally have shared with Kelly throughout the years has been the final minutes before running onto the pitch, I turn to Kelly and she gives me this nod," Marchak wrote in a 2012 blog. "I know this nod very well. Its a nod saying were ready, we know what we need to do, lets just go out and do it. "It has actually been the one thing I feel I look forward to, as it calms me and gives me that last ounce of believe." Russell, who also played in the 2010 World Cup as well as two sevens World Cups, sees good things ahead for this Canadian team which she describes as a mix of experience with "want-to-impress" new blood. Originally from Bolton, Ont., Russell is one of about 20 women, all tied into the sevens program, who are centralized in the Victoria area. Other players have moved west to train with them. Part of their regimen involves working with UFC bantamweight Sarah Kaufman at the ZUMA gym in Victoria. Kaufman helps them with condition and grappling -- wrestling takedowns are similar to tackling to rugby. "A real help," said Russell. Canada, which finished fourth in 1998, 2002 and 2006 and a disappointing sixth in 2010, is in a pool with England, Samoa and Spain. The three pool winners and the runner-up with the best record advance to the semifinals. New Zealand has won the last four tournaments, defeating England in the last three finals. The Russell sisters -- including an older sibling -- followed their fathers footsteps into rugby with the Toronto Nomads. Kelly was 14 or 15 when she took up the sport. Now she leads Canada out on rugbys biggest stage. "When I started, it was just about playing rugby and trying it out. And I just loved it right away," she recalled. "So the natural progression was just to keep pursuing higher levels." She got her first cap in 2007 and has 35 going into the World Cup -- no small feat considering womens rugby internationals are few and far between. Named to the 2010 World Cup all-star squad, Russell was named Rugby Canadas Womens Fifteens Player of the Year for 2013. Canada last faced Spain at the 1991 and 2006 World Cups, winning 79-0 and 19-4. "Were expecting Spain to play a lot of rugby (Friday) with a lot of ball in play, fast pace and a lot of running, similar to the style we play and they play with no fear," Canadian coach Francois Ratier said in a statement. "This is the World Cup. And its important for us to set the tone with a big effort against Spain. We need to focus on our game and dont change our style or philosophy because its been working -- just push up the intensity." Minnesota Twins Jerseys . Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres came to an agreement on a big trade that may only offer incremental improvement to the Blues in their quest for a Stanley Cup. Phil Hughes Jersey . The (14-15-5) Jets are seventh in the Central Division with 33 points.  They trail sixth place Nashville and fifth place Dallas by two points. http://www.twinsrookiestore.com/Twins-Ja...ds-Jersey/ . -- The Anaheim Ducks have signed left wing Dany Heatley to a one-year deal, returning the 33-year-old unrestricted free agent to the Pacific Division.RALEIGH, N.C. - Jaromir Jagr almost missed out on reaching a milestone Monday night.The New Jersey Devils are certainly glad he managed to play.Jagr had a goal and an assist in his 1,500th NHL game to help the Devils defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1.I didnt feel very well, Jagr said, describing tiredness and a lack of energy. I told (coach Peter DeBoer) at 4 oclock, Dont play me. I feel strange. One hour to go (before the game), I started feeling better.Jagr also moved into fifth place on the NHLs career points list with 1,772, passing Marcel Dionne.I play a lot of games, Jagr said. I try to stay healthy. Thats what it takes.Devils goalie Cory Schneider made 39 saves, including 17 in the third period.Adam Henrique scored the go-ahead goal on a power play with 13.4 seconds remaining in the second period for the Devils, who won for only the second time in eight games.Jagrs fifth of the season tied the score with 5:15 left in the second when he took a pass from Scott Gomez, who finished with two assists in his fourth game of the season.The guy knows how to get open and he can dominate a hockey game, Gomez said. Its kind of easy when you try to find that guy and he knows what to do with it.The 42-year-old Jagr set up Henriques goal, moving the puck around the back of the net and hitting his teammate with a pass.Jagr has 710 career goals and 1,062 assists.I remind myself daily being around him that this is all special, DeBoer said. We might never see this again. I dont think Ill see it in my lifetime, a guy playing this long at the level hes playing at.Carolina defenceman Justin Faulk opened the scoring with a second-periodd goal. Robbie Grossman Jersey. . Cam Ward made 14 saves for the Hurricanes.Carolina registered the first 13 shots on goal in the third and ended up with a 17-1 edge in the period.Hanging on, but I dont care at this point, DeBoer said. Were not looking for pretty. We just need points.New Jersey killed off a Carolina power play in the third period when former Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu was in the penalty box for boarding. That contributed to a busy stretch for Schneider.They were coming at all different angles, he said. I had to be sharp at all times.Faulks goal came on the 13th shot of the game for the Hurricanes, who failed to score more than twice in any of the five games on their homestand. The defenceman took a pass in the slot from Andrej Nestrasil before firing a shot past Schneider.Thats all they managed.I dont even know if it was a hot goaltender, Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. I think its just self-inflicted wounds.On a total of 75 shots across the last two games, Carolina has two goals.It wasnt good enough, obviously, forward Jeff Skinner said. I dont think we worked hard enough to be rewarded tonight. We had a fair amount of shots, but I dont think we have enough drive.NOTES: RW Martin Havlat was in the New Jersey lineup after missing three games with an injury, but LW Mike Cammalleri, the teams top goal scorer, was out with a muscle pull. ... Hurricanes RW Alexander Semin, a healthy scratch for a few games last month, sat out again. ... Carolina finished a 1-4 homestand. Were going to look back and regret it, for sure, Peters said. ... Gomez moved into fifth place in team history with 336 assists. Wholesale USA Soccer Jerseys discount uswnt jersey Wholesale AC Milan Jerseys Wholesale Arsenal Jerseys Wholesale A.S. Roma Jerseys Wholesale Atletico Madrid Jerseys Wholesale Chelsea Jerseys Cheap Barcelona Jerseys Bayern Munich Jerseys For Sale Cheap Borussia Dortmund Jerseys Cheap Inter Milan Jerseys Juventus Jerseys From China Leicester City Jerseys For Sale Discount Liverpool Jerseys Wholesale Manchester City Jerseys Manchester United Jerseys For Sale Wholesale Paris Saint-Germain Jerseys Real Madrid Jerseys From China Cheap Sevilla Jerseys Authentic Tottenham Hotspur Jerseys ' ' '

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