Heavy B.C. flavour on Canadian Sevens squad bound for the UK
Published Wednesday, May 11, 2011 5:00 am
by Rugby Canada Communications

Victoria, BC: Geraint John, Head Coach of the Canadian Senior Men's National Sevens team has released his travelling roster for remaining 2011 IRB Sevens World Series stops.

Ten of the 14 players bound for the United Kingdom competed in the 2011 Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League. Two UBC Thunderbirds, Harry Jones and Sean Ferguson, were also selected.

Injuries and the unavailability of players have had an affect on squad selection but John will travel to the UK with a nucleus of 14 talented players that will provide a genuine threat to the top sides at the London and Edinburgh Sevens.

John announced the squad to the players at the final selection on Friday morning and the squad will train together for three days in Victoria, before flying to London on Saturday, May 14th. All players included in the squad have been involved on the sevens circuit before and nine were in action at the Hong Kong Sevens when Canada defeated France, Wales and Japan on their way to capturing the Bowl Final.

Captain Phil Mack will look to add to his fantastic tally of 610 career points during the final two events of the sevens series. Victoria (Thyssen de Goede, Mitch Gudgeon, Mack and Nathan Hirayama) and Vancouver (Sean Duke, Harry Jones, Sean Ferguson and Justin Mensah-Coker (Edinburgh only for JMC) are well represented with four players from each region selected in the squad for the London Sevens.

John Moonlight and Mike Scholz make up the Ontario contingent while Ciaran Hearn from Newfoundland will look to build on his burgeoning reputation. Luke Cudmore, from Squamish, BC, had an outstanding season with North Wales and will relish the opportunity to return to the United Kingdom to join the push for silverware.

Canada plays Australia, Samoa on Scotland at Twickenham and then will play on day two based on over all pool standings.

Hearn and Hirayama will take a step back from sevens action after the London Sevens and Mensah Coker will be given a more prominent role when the competition gets underway in Edinburgh (May 28th and 29th). Robert Wilson, who plays with The Rock in Newfoundland, joins the squad for the Edinburgh Sevens.

Canada faces Australia for a second straight week, as well as South Africa and Kenya before getting seeded for the second day of the competition.

Several players that have competed on the sevens circuit in the past have not been included for the tour as they will be included in the Churchill Cup, which takes place in June. Players such as Adam Kleeberger, Nanyak Dala and DTH van der Merwe are nursing injuries and Neil Meechan is not available due to work commitments. Under-18 players were not considered due to school, exams and provincial high school competitions and plans for the Youth Commonwealth Games later in the year which is in the UK in September. Priority has also been given to the Under-20 world championships so these players are not in the sevens mix.

12 players will gather in Victoria on Tuesday for three days of training before they fly out to the United Kingdom. The London Sevens kick off on May 21st.
London Sevens squad (2011 CDI Premier League players in bold):
John Moonlight (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) (Pickering, ON)
Thyssen de Goede (James Bay AA, British Columbia) (Victoria, BC)
Mitch Gudgeon (James Bay AA, British Columbia) (Victoria, BC)
Luke Cudmore (Capilano RFC, British Columbia) (Squamish, BC)
Kyle Gilmour (Castaway Wanderers, St. Albert RFC, Prairie Wolf Pack,) (Calgary, AB)
Mike Sholz (Castaway Wanderers, Ontario Blues) (Oakville, ON)
Phil Mack Captain (University of Victoria, British Columbia) (Victoria, BC)
Nathan Hirayama (University of Victoria, British Columbia) (Victoria, BC)
Ciaran Hearn(Castaway Wanderers,  The Rock) (Conception Bay, Nfld)
Sean Duke (University of Victoria, British Columbia) (Vancouver, BC)
Harry Jones (University of British Columbia, British Columbia) (Vancouver, BC)
Sean Ferguson (University of Victoria, British Columbia) (Vancouver, BC)
Justin Mensah-Coker (Meraloma, British Columbia) (Vancouver, BC)
Robert Wilson (Swilers/The Rock, St. John's, Nfld) (Scotland only)

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