Captain Nelles awarded All-Canadian rugby badge

Cindy Nelles (Photo: Fraser Caldwell/McMaster Athletics)

Cindy Nelles (Photo: Fraser Caldwell/McMaster Athletics)

Cindy Nelles, the third-year captain of the Marauder women’s rugby team, was rewarded for her outstanding season with recognition as a Canadian Interuniversity Sports All-Canadian on Wednesday night (Oct. 30).

The All-Canadians were announced alongside major award winners at the annual banquet opening the CIS championships, this year hosted by Laval.

The Marauder captain was one of two number eights selected to the All-Canadian group, after a season in which she captained a young McMaster team to Ontario University Athletics bronze.

Nelles totalled 44 points in five regular-season contests, ranking her seventh among OUA players. Her eight tries on the season ranked fourth in the conference and second on the team behind Stephanie Black.

Perhaps more important, however, was the captain’s defensive and organizational influence on the Marauders, serving as one of the team’s leading tacklers at the number eight position. McMaster’s staunch defence kept the team in close battles with the division-leading Guelph Gryphons on two separate occasions this season, and much of that can be attributed to the direction of Nelles.

Her recognition as an All-Canadian comes after Nelles was included, alongside three teammates, on the OUA Russell Division All-Star Team. It marked the first all-star appearance for the Marauder, who was the Russell Division’s Rookie of the Year in 2011.