Sibling connection

The women’s rugby team has had two sets of sisters on the roster in the last two seasons

Clara (left) and Gilly Pegg (right) both play on the women's rugby team.
Clara (left) and Gilly Pegg (right) both play on the women's rugby team.
Natalie Poirier joined her sister on the team last year.
Natalie Poirier joined her sister on the team last year.

Most students have heard the clichés about the family environment that exists within varsity teams at Queen’s. For the women’s rugby team, it’s the truth.

In recent seasons, the Gaels have recruited younger siblings of veteran players. They currently have two younger sisters of players from last season’s team on the roster.

Head coach Beth Barz said she’ll take advantage of family connections whenever they’re possible.

“There’s an obvious link if two siblings are involved in the same sport at a high level,” Barz said. “You already know the parents and you know the kinds of family values they have.”

This summer the Gaels added second-year prop Claragh Pegg’s sister, Gilly, to the roster. That’s not the only family connection. Fullback Jocelyn Poirier led the Gaels to the CIS Championships last year. Her younger sister, Natalie, is in her second season with the team.

Poirier, who scored a try in the team’s home opener on Saturday, said watching her sister play for the Gaels helped her decide where she wanted to go after high school.

“I kind of always wanted to go to Queen’s,” Poirier said. “All throughout high school I came to all the home games with my parents. I’d dress up and paint my face and everything.”

Poirier, a winger, said she’d never played with her sister before last year, but having Jocelyn around made her transition to the team a lot easier.

“It gave me someone to fall back on,” she said. “It was nice being away from home for the first time to see my sister everyday at practices.”

Poirier said she’s excited to be a part of the nucleus that will look to build on the team’s fifth-place finish at the nationals last year.

“Last year I had dressed for some games but didn’t play that much,” she said. “This year was kind of a reality check, but I think after the first game I realize that I can be that person.”

Poirier said the team’s training camp helped prepare this season’s rookies for their first taste of the competition at the OUA level.

“Training camp, for me, was an eye opener,” she said. “It shows you that it’s not high school anymore.”

The women’s rugby team will host the Brock Badgers at 4:30 p.m. at West Campus on Saturday.


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