VICTORIA - Three recent graduates of the BC Elite Youth Sevens program have been named to Rugby Canada's development squad for the upcoming World Games set to be hosted in Cali, Colombia from August 1st-2nd. Jorden Sandover-Best (Abbotsford), Justin Douglas (Abbotsford) and Pat Kay (Duncan) have all been named to the Maple Leafs roster which will be assembling in Burnaby ahead of the Burnaby Lake Lighthouse Sevens on July 27th.
BC reps also named to the squad include Connor Braid (Victoria), Mike Fuailefau (Victoria), Adam Kleeberger (White Rock) and Adam Zaruba (West Vancouver).
BC Elite Youth Sevens head coach and former national team rep Shane Thompson will co-coach the development program along with former Canada sevens coach Morgan Williams. Following the tournament in Colombia, Thompson and Williams will each coach a side at the Victoria Sevens tournament in September along with coaching the teams at the NACRA and Las Vegas Sevens.
"One of the original goals when we first introduced the BC Elite Youth Sevens program three years ago was to prepare young players for international competition. The Maple Leafs team will provide another opportunity for these guys looking to break into the senior national team with more experience and will allow them to keep developing," said Thompson. "Some of these guys are still young at just 19 years old so it's important for us to focus on the players who are graduating from youth programs and provide them more opportunities to play sevens."
Justin Douglas was the first graduate of the BCEY7s program to debut for the senior men's national team and played for Canada at the Gold Coast, Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, London and World Cup events this past year.
Jorden Sandover-Best was a key member in BC's undefeated run in youth tournaments during the 2011-2012 season and has since been making an impact in XVs at UBC and was a member of Canada's U20 team in Chile.
Pat Kay is a year older than Best and Douglas but played alongside them at the 2011 Youth Commonwealth Games in the Isle of Man. This year's Canada U20 Captain, Kay has represented Canada at the U20 and U17 levels and was recently named National University Sevens MVP when UVic lifted the title this past winter.
"Justin has played for Canada but with limited minutes. He is developing into a real weapon and we're looking for him to do some damage down in Colombia," Thompson added. "Pat is a great player with lots of experience in his young career and Jorden is a versatile player and really strong defensively."
Heading into the World Games Canada is ranked fourth and grouped in Pool A along with top ranked South Africa, fifth-seeded Hong Kong and Colombia round out the group in 8th position. Pool B consists of France, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
World Games, Cali, Colombia
Canada vs. Hong Kong – 12:55pm local time
Canada vs. Colombia – 15:25pm local time
Canada vs. South Africa – 17:30pm local time
Canada’s Men’s Roster for World Games in Cali, Columbia:
Connor Braid – (Doncaster Knights/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC
Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond – (Castaway Wanderers) Toronto, ON
Pat Kay – (Cowichan RFC/BC Bears) Duncan, BC
Adam Kleeberger – (University of Victoria/BC Bears) White Rock, BC
Jorden Sandover-Best – (University of British Columbia) Abbotsford, BC
Mike Scholz – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Jack Smith – (Peterborough RFC) Peterborough, ON
Jake Webster – (Lindsay RFC) Lindsay, ON
Jordan Wilson-Ross – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Allison, ON
Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) West Vancouver, BC
Coaches: Shane Thompson & Morgan Williams
Team Leader: Rick Powers
Team Manager: Todd Silverthorn
Team Therapist: Jenn McKinnon