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In 2014, Magali Harvey went from wondering why she was playing rugby to being named t
TORONTO - In 2014, Magali Harvey went from wondering why she was playing rugby to being named the worldd best player. Trey Lyles Jazz Jersey .In addition to winning IRB Womens Player of the Year honours, the 24-year-old from Quebec City was chosen as a finalist for the International Rugby Players Association Try of the Year — the only woman nominated — and finished second in scoring at the World Cup.Not bad for someone who was still finding her way on the rugby field.I definitely did have a roller-coaster year, Harvey said in a recent interview. During part of the year, I wasnt sure why I was playing rugby. I wasnt sure that I wanted to be in the (Canadian) program.It was only once I realized that I was there because I wanted to be there, not because I had to be there, that I started to change my perspective on things. And it definitely helped me step up my game. I just started pushing harder at training and stopped cutting corners in everything I did.A star player at St. Francis Xavier University, Harvey could rely on her speed and finishing skills. But the five-foot-five, 144-pound back had plenty to learn at the international level.Its a big fish in a small pond kind of scenario, said Canadian womens sevens coach John Tait. A lot of our players have had that scenario — theyve all been the best player on their age-grade teams or the best player at their university or club. Some struggle with it more than others. Its adapting when youre surrounded with other players that are really good as well. Youre not going to get away with things you got away with at St-FX.Mags, before she got here, couldnt pass and thought tackling was grabbing people up around the chest and stuff. And that just doesnt work at this level. If people know youre not going to pass, then you suddenly get two defenders on you instead of one. Its been a growing pain not just for her, but our whole program.Harvey admits playing for her country has been a challenge.I never really had to pass the ball that much, Harvey said. I never really had to tackle that much.So when I got out of university it was definitely a wake-up call.While Harvey scored big tries at crucial times at the World Cup in the 15-player version of the game, she did not make the squad for three of the five stops on the sevens World Series circuit last season. And she is an impact substitute these days on the sevens squad.Harvey has had to learn the sevens game, which lasts 14 minutes instead of 80. There is little time for mistakes.If youre one of those strike players, which she is, theres the expectation that she either scores or keeps the ball, said Tait. And thats something that shes struggled with, just finding her sevens game and how her skills can complement what were trying to do as a team.Harvey was a starter in her early days with the Canadian sevens program.That was a good thing and a bad thing, she said. A bad thing because for the longest time I sort of assumed I was fine with my speed, with my (side) step, and that I didnt really need to have to work on my passing, that I didnt have to work on certain things.When it finally caught up to me, I didnt have the greatest attitude about it. Id never really been benched before and that really affected me mentally. I wasnt a good teammate. I kind of backed away from my team. Definitely not the proper attitude to have.Centralized in Victoria with other women on the sevens team, Harvey says a family inheritance proved to be a turning point.Before then, she had seen rugby as something that helped pay her bills. The inheritance changed that.It made me confront myself, (ask) why was I playing rugby — because it wasnt the money any more, she said. So I had to figure out why is it I was on the team, why did I train Monday to Saturday and went through hell sometimes. Thats when I realized Im on this team because Im passionate about rugby. Im passionate, I want to be the best I can be and I want to be the best I can be for my teammates.And I know its going to sound cheesy, but that inheritance made me realize the true reason I was playing rugby.Growing up with an anglophone mother and francophone father, Harvey spoke English and French at home. She played soccer and other sports like basketball and rugby, depending on the season.Just prior to university, much to her disappointment, she was one of the last cuts for a semi-pro soccer team. The University of Laval rugby coach told her she should try out for the Canadian under-20 squad.That was the start for me, she said. I got into rugby at a high level and I really enjoyed it. I decided that was the sport I was going to play.She was a star fullback at St-FX where she was named Atlantic University Sport rookie of the year and an AUS all-Canadian from 2010 to 2012.In the first game of her final season, she scored 39 points to break the previous conference record set by current Canadian teammate Ghislaine Landry.But going into the World Cup in France last summer, Harvey didnt even think she would start — or be first-choice kicker.I just went with it, said Harvey, who has won 15 caps for the 15-player squad. I went along with the flow and pushed myself.Harvey, playing as wing, was nominated for try of the year for her effort against France in the World Cup semifinal. Canada, within metres of its own goal-line early in the second half, won a French scrum to start the play. Three passes later, the ball went to Harvey, who turned on the speed before using a shimmy to race 87 yards for a try that gave Canada an 18-6 lead. The French scored two late tries but the Canadians held on for an 18-16 win.Canada lost 21-9 to England in the final.Harvey enjoys her rugby and teammates more these days, realizing that time off the field is just as important for bonding as what happens on the field.The awards, while unexpected, are nice. But she knows fame is fleeting and that hard work cant stop.Having that tough year sort of made me realize youre only as good as your last game, she said. And even with that award, even with everything, it doesnt change the fact that I still have to push myself, theres still someone there for my spot and Im still not where I want to be.It hasnt changed anything. It just motivates me even more.Canadians should be able to see Harvey on home turf in 2015 in April at the Langford, B.C. stop of the IRB Womens Sevens World Series and in July at Pan-American Games in Toronto.Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter Trey Lyles Jersey . -- The Oakland Raiders expect to have starting right tackle Tony Pashos back for Sundays game against the Houston Texans. Jonas Jerebko Jersey . But its also a smart game. Theres more to the Kings than banging bodies. They take a toll mentally on their opponents. .com) - Former New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya is joining the Major League Baseball Players Association staff as a senior advisor to executive director Tony Clark.Sergio Ramos has targeted a second Champions League trophy in three seasons ahead of Saturdays final between Real and Atletico Madrid. The Real Madrid defender scored an equalising goal deep in stoppage time against city rivals Atletico in the 2014 showpiece in Lisbon to take the game into extra-time, which Real went on to win 4-1.The sides meet once again in the final of Europes elite club competition this weekend in Milan, with Bernabeu veteran Ramos keen to build on his teams dramatic victory two years ago. He said: The first time is like when you make love - you always remember it, but after it is true you can improve.The first one has a special taste because I was the protagonist with a great goal, but I am optimistic and ambitious. Ramos scored Reals equaliser in the 2014 final against Atletico, with the Bernabeu side going on to win 4-1 I like to turn the page and continue filling my honours list. Hopefully Ill have the good fortune to lift (the Champions League) again.Atletico have responded weell to that loss against Real with just one defeat in the subsequent 10 Madrid derbies. Jeff Hornacek Jazz Jersey. .That reverse also came in Europe, however, and saw Real take the upper hand in last seasons Champions League quarter-final tie between the two sides. Atletico have responded well to their 2014 Champions League final defeat, losing only one of the last 10 Madrid derbies Javier Hernandezs goal sent Real into the last four and Ramos added: We are very clear in the ideas we have, in what we want to do and how to approach this game.We know the opponent very well. We know the team we will have in front of us and, unless perhaps they have changed their style and philosophy, it is Atletico Madrid.We know it will be a very competitive, hard game against a side that plays with a lot of intensity and character. Also See: Champions League fixtures Results Tables Get a £10 free bet! 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