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Beukeboom becomes most capped Canadian women’s rugby player

Played with the Cowichan Women’s Football League when not playing rugby with Team Canada

Tyson Beukeboom has become the most all-time caps leader in Canadian women’s rugby history.

Beukeboom, who has been known to dabble in the Cowichan Women’s Football League when not playing rugby with Team Canada, earned her 68th cap (international appearance) in the Canadian women’s squad’s first ever victory over the New Zealand Black Ferns on May 19 in Christchurch.

With the 22-19 win, Canada also earned the Pacific Four Series championship.

“To be honest, it’s still so crazy to me,” Beukeboom said. “If you had told me when I started that I would get to this point I would have laughed. But in all seriousness, it’s such an honour to be where I am and to be able to represent my country — especially with the team we have. Everyone who is a part of it is so amazing and I most certainly wouldn’t be able to be where I am without them, past and present.”

Attending St. Francis Xavier, Beukeboom was the CIS Female Athlete of the year in 2012 and debuted with Team Canada the following year at the 2013 Nations Cup.

In 2016 she moved to the Cowichan region to be closer to the Team Canada training grounds, and joined the Cowichan Rugby Club, whose members quickly became like family to her.

“I’ve definitely had points where I thought I was ready to be finished,” Beukeboom admitted. “A huge part of why I’ve kept going is absolutely the Piggies. It was my safe place for so many seasons where I got to have fun and just express myself without all the pressure. They have always been such a huge support system on and off the field. I can’t wait to get back, even if just for a visit.”

That support helped her and the team earn silver at the 2014 Rugby World Cup in France, as well as play in the 2018 and 2021 World Cups in Ireland, and New Zealand respectively, not to mention sporting the maple leaf in many other international events.

It took until this year for Beukeboom to decide to go pro. She signed her first professional contract with the Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club this season, ahead of their first foray in the Allianz Premiership, England’s elite women’s rugby league.

The team sits 4-11-0 for sixth in the Premiership with one game left to play.

“At her age and with her experience she decided to fully commit to rugby by going over to play in England, I loved to see that,” said Team Canada head coach Kevin Rouet ahead of Canada’s final Pacific Four Series match against New Zealand, the reigning world champions.

“Tyson is a very experienced rugby player and the fun part for me has been that she is now at the stage of her career where we just have a lot of conversations, there isn’t much coaching,” Rouet said. “It is important to recognize this massive achievement and I look forward to seeing her continue to play and grow and she continues to hit more milestones in the years to come.”

When she’s not pushing her limits or making history, Beukeboom hopes to come back to Cowichan.

“I definitely have plans to be back to visit at the very least,” she said. “I do miss the Valley. At the end of the season I’ll be back on the Island for a bit. I have one more year overseas for sure and then World Cup. Beyond that everything is still a little bit up in the air.”

The Canadian women will be back in B.C. this fall to compete in the WXV 1 elite tournament in Vancouver.