VICTORIA , BC - Abbotsford's Justin Douglas is the first ever BC Elite Youth Sevens graduate to be named to a Canadian senior men's national sevens team and will be departing this week for Australia to compete at the Gold Coast Sevens. The Robert Bateman graduate was already capped at the U18 national sevens level when he played an integral part in Canada lifting the Plate at last year's Youth Commonwealth Games in the Isle of Man.
A product of Abbotsford Rugby Football Club and the BC Rugby Academy, Douglas excelled at the age grade level during his young rugby career. Douglas is a two-time national champion with BC's U18 provincial 15s program and has represented the BC Elite Youth Sevens at the Victoria International Youth Sevens.
The BC Elite Youth Sevens program was designed to identify and develop young athletes so that they would be best qualified to represent Canada on the international stage, and BCEY7s head coach Shane Thompson was delighted to hear Douglas will soon be competing in the International Rugby Board Sevens World Series.
"Justin is an impact player with the potential to score from anywhere on the field," Thompson said on hearing the news. "He has certainly been one of the our best players to come through the program. He has the ability and he has all the right tools."
Of the players recently assembled at Shawnigan Lake School for the final national selection camp, Douglas was one of 10 BCEY7s recent graduates or current players in attendance. The list includes 2011 grads Mike Dalsin, Pat Kay and Liam Murphy-Burke, along with 2012 grads Douglas, Jorden Best, Nathan Yanagiya and Fergus Hall. Current BCEY7s players invited to the camp were Ollie Nott, Giussepe Du Toit and Chris Miles. Haydn Evans and Jordan de Graaf - two players to represent the BCEY7s in Vegas, Hong Kong and Victoria last year - were invited but unable to attend.
"To have 12 athletes invited to the senior national sevens camp is an outstanding accomplishment," added Thompson. "This shows what we are doing is on the correct path and I think we are setting the bar."
During the Gold Coast Sevens event, Canada will be in Pool A with defending World Champions New Zealand, South Africa and North American rivals USA. Fellow BC provincial reps named to the team with Douglas include Victoria's Phil Mack and Mike Fuailefau, Vancouver's Sean Duke and Harry Jones, and Courtenay's Thyssen de Goede,
Team Canada for Gold Coast Sevens (October 13-14, Gold Coast, Australia)
Name (School, Club, Pro Club, CRC Club) Hometown
Mike Fuailefau (Castaway Wanderers RFC) Victoria, BC
Thyssen de Goede (James Bay AA) Courtenay, BC
Nanyak Dala (Castaway Wanderers RFC) Saskatoon, SK
John Moonlight (James Bay AA) Pickering, ON
Justin Douglas (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC
Sean Duke (University of Victoria) Vancouver, BC
Phil Mack (University of Victoria) Victoria, BC
Jeff Hassler (James Bay AA) Okotoks, AB
Harry Jones (Capilano RFC) North Vancouver, BC
Ciaran Hearn (Castaway Wanderers RFC) Conception Bay South, NL
Lucas Hammond (Toronto Nomads) Toronto, ON
Chauncey O’Toole (Belle Isle RFC) Belle Isle, NB