VANCOUVER, BC - Canada Sevens head coach Geraint John has named his 12-man playing roster for the fast approaching Rugby World Cup in Moscow, which kicks-off on Friday, June 28.
The squad includes stalwarts such as Nanyak Dala (captain), Sean Duke, Ciaran Hearn, Nathan Hirayama, Harry Jones, Phil Mack, John Moonlight and Taylor Paris.
Justin Douglas, Thyssen De Goede, Lucas Hammond and Mike Fuailefau are the remaining four, while Chauncey O'Toole, Jeff Hassler, Tyler Ardron and Conor Trainor will not travel due to respective recuperation, contractual and injury issues.
"All the selected players have been on the circuit this year and are rewarded by going to the World Cup. We felt this was important as they have trained hard throughout the year, know the systems and have gained great success during the year (Plate Finals and Bowl Finals) and therefore deserve to be rewarded for their efforts and success. Myself and Kieran (Crowley) have been working closely together on this - forming a preparation plan with staff and also Steve Lancaster and Mike Chu - to ensure we take the strongest available and knowledgeable team to Russia," said Geraint John.
"Also we considered the following players - Phil MacKenzie who is currently at Sale Sharks and recovering from an injury, Matt Evans is in a contract with Cornish Pirates and DTH van der Merwe is injured so we've opted to stick with the players who have given us the success throughout the year on the World Sevens Series."
It seems a long time since Canada confirmed their core team status for another term back in May and while the 2012/13 IRB World Sevens Series is over, involvement in the ongoing fifteens schedule has meant many of the squad traveling to Russia are set to require rest before training while others will join the group later than planned.
Those having a delayed link up with John and his charges are Hearn, Paris, Dala and Fuailefau, who are currently in Nagoya preparing for Canada's key Pacific Nations Cup fixture against Japan, with victory set to secure Canada the title.
"(The Sevens squad) meet on June 20 at Fortius Health and Sport in Burnaby, BC. We'll stay there on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to train, allowing all coaches from BC including high schools, clubs and young players to come and watch," added John, whose men find themselves in the same pool as New Zealand, USA and Georgia.
Wales are the holders of the World Cup Sevens crown after lifting the 2009 silverware in Dubai. And with all nations acknowledging the importance of a strong showing in terms of a performance pathway for the 2016 Olympics, the Moscow showpiece promises to offer a welcome taster of what is to come three years from now in Rio de Janeiro.
RWC Sevens - June 28-30
Canada v New Zealand at 15:44 local time
Canada v USA at 10:06 local time
Canada v Georgia at 13:46 local time
Canada’s Roster for Moscow - (Club, CRC Team) Hometown
Nanyak Dala - (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK (Captain)
Thyssen De Goede - (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Justin Douglas - (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
Sean Duke - (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Mike Fuailefau - (Castaway Wanderers RFC/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond - (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Ciaran Hearn - (Castaway Wanders RFC/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay, NL
Nathan Hirayama - (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
Harry Jones - (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) West Vancouver, BC
Phil Mack - (Uvic Vikes/ BC Bears) Victoria, BC
John Moonlight - (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Taylor Paris - (SU Agen Lot-et-Garonne) Barrie, ON
Head Coach: Geraint John
Assistant Coach: Kieran Crowley
Manager: Brian Hunter
Therapist: Isabel Grondin
Strength & Conditioning/Analyst: Lorna Barry