Nine players on the 12-man
Canadian sevens roster headed to Hong Kong play their club rugby in the
Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League. The roster is bolstered by the return
of UVic Vikes scrum half and national team Captain Phil Mack.
The Canadian men's sevens
contingent destined for Hong Kong has been chosen and head coach Geraint John
is confident the team has the experience and ability to build on its first two
tour events in 2011.
Leading the charge in terms
of new inclusions to this year's squad is veteran leader Phil Mack, the
24-year-old scrum half with national sevens and 15s experience.
Mack has been out of action
since after the Commonwealth Games when he underwent hand surgery to fix an
ongoing scaphoid problem. He has been training with the squad for the past two
weeks and John said his inclusion has already had an impact.
“It's obviously great for
us,” John said. “With his experience, knowledge of the game and having been on
the series, it's great. He brings confidence to the group on and off the
John said Mack could have
continued to play after the Commonwealth Games with the hand injury, but that
it was a long-term decision to correct the issue before he took the field this
The Hong Kong squad also
sees the welcome additions of experienced forward Neil Meechan, centre Mike
Scholz and Sean Ferguson.
The squad will also be
missing Justin Mensah-Coker due to work commitments and Adam Kleeberger who
recently underwent shoulder surgery. Promising Wolf Pack loose forward Nanyak
Dala was also under consideration, but is suffering from a knee injury.
Retained from the IRB
Wellington and Las Vegas sevens events are Thyssen de Goede, Neil Meechan, John
Moonlight, Ciaran Hearn, Sean Duke, Conor Trainor, Chauncey O'Toole and Nathan
John said he used both
the east and west sevens talent identification camps held in conjunction with
Rugby Canada, as well as the B.C. sevens and the University Sevens
Championships held in B.C. last weekend to assist in the selection process.
In addition to the
selection opportunities available, confirmed Hong Kong squad members Mack
(UVic), Hirayama (UVic), Duke (UVic) and Trainor (UWO) were all playing in the
sevens tournament this weekend to gain some added playing time.
“It gives them an
opportunity to play the game, even though it won't be at the level they'll face
in Hong Kong,” John said. “Phil Mack is actually playing his first game back
today for UVic.”
Canada is able to arrive in
Hong Kong in advance of the tournament due to the support of the Canadian
Canada departs for the Hong
Kong sevens next Friday. The tournament begins March 25 and Canada's first game
is at 6:42 p.m. (local time) against Argentina. Canada also faces Australia and
Zimbabwe in pool play.
Phil Mack (University of Victoria)
Ciaran Hearn (The Rock)
Sean Duke (B.C. Bears)
Matt Evans (Newport Gwent Dragons)
Conor Trainor (B.C. Bears)
Thyssen de Goede (B.C. Bears)
Neil Meechan (B.C. Bears)
Chauncey O'Toole (The Rock)
John Moonlight (Ontario Blues)
Mike Scholz (Ontario Blues)
Sean Ferguson (University of British Columbia)
Coach: Geraint John
Manager: Brian Hunter