Pronghorns start Canada West season strong with senior Abby Duguid in the lead – Lethbridge
While most Canada West athletes played less last year, Abby Duguid of the University of Lethbridge’s Pronghorns women’s rugby team at the University of Lethbridge used the canceled season to develop her game.
“I made the decision to try to cross the world in the event of a pandemic,” Duguid said with a laugh. “I went abroad and played for the Loughborough Lightning in England in the Premiership.”
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Working to become a teacher, Duguid was able to continue her education in the UK, while training full time and attending many gaming activities.
“AU Sports’ season – as good as it is – maybe eight to 10 games max, if you make it to the final at the national championships,” she said. “And I think during the half-season I was (in England). I played 14 games.
Duguid was injured with just two games of the season in 2019, a year set to be her last with the Pronghorns. But she was able to save that last year of eligibility.
Horns head coach Graeme Moffat said he was delighted to hear the veteran lock wanted to return for a fifth year and bring his wealth of experience to the squad.
“When we found out she had to come back to finish her studies, we were just excited,” Moffat said.
“The leadership she brings, the experience she has and, you know, the girls certainly admire her. And the way she plays, you know, she sets an example. She plays loud.
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While in the U of L teaching program, Duguid is working full time to complete her internship. She said that while balancing teaching and rugby was a challenge, she wouldn’t dream of giving up her final year with the ‘Horns, and one last chance to win with the program.
“I took this free time and left, but I can come back and finish it, finish my time here, finish my studies and finish with the girls I started with,” she said. “A lot of us have had to wait for an injury or wait for this COVID year to come back, so I think the three of us all started together in 2015 and we’re back in the field.”
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Duguid made her first appearance on the senior national team for Canada in 2018. Over the summer, she was invited – alongside her senior Pronghorns colleague Keegan Brantner – to a three-day Rugby Canada camp. in Victoria.
Duguid said that right now she is firmly focused on the Pronghorns’ strong start to the season, but in the future she plans to return to play in England with the ultimate goal being to represent Canada at next year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
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The Pronghorns started the year with a 53-7 victory over the University of Alberta and are ranked eighth in the nation heading into week two. They will face the University of Calgary Dinos on Friday in Calgary.
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