Jess Neilson, U20 Canada Standout

We were very impressed with the U20 Canadian player Jess Neilson over the summer and so we decided to do a bit more research on who she is. At 17, it is believed that she is the youngest player of the 2013 U20 Nations Cup. Googling ‘Jess Neilson rugby‘ brings up a ton of articles and they each go over her short but exhilarating rugby career.

“Jess has been one of the most special and unique athletes I have had the chance to write about over the 2012-13 sports season,” said Howard Tsumura, high school and university sports reporter at The Province newspaper.

“Incredible doesn’t even begin to describe the strides she has made in the game, all coming well ahead of the age-group curve, including most recently being named to Canada’s U20 women’s rugby team at the age of 17.” [University of Victoria]

Neilson started her rugby career at the young age of 12 where she trained with the Velox Valkyries senior women’s club team, a group which included several Canadian national team players. Two years later, she was the starting flyhalf with the Vancouver Meralomas premier women’s team.

Her journey off the pitch is just as poignant as she has excelled within her school’s challenging International Baccalaureate program, achieving the kinds of near-perfect grades which will allow her to enter the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business with a full second-year academic standing.

We look forward to seeing Neilson on the pitch more and more…


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