Langford, BC – Canada Men’s 15s head coach Kieran Crowley has announced his 25-man roster for the upcoming 2013 IRB Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) being hosted at the Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence and Westhills Stadium in Langford, BC on October 11, 15 and 19.
Seven members of the BC Bears provincial program have been named to the roster, just a week after the side clinched second place in the 2013 Canadian Rugby Championship.
Bears selections include Joe Dolesau (Burnaby Lake), Aaron Flagg (Abbotsford), Micha Govorchin (Burnaby Lake), Adam Kleeberger (Castaway Wanderers), Ryan March (Abbotsford), Sean White (James Bay) and Captain Callum Morrison (UBCOB Ravens). The roster also includes returning BC reps Conor Trainor (UBCOB Ravens) who was sidelined with an injury this summer as well as Jake Ilnicki (Williams Lake) who has been plying his trade in New Zealand with the Auckland Colts program. Hank McQueen, a Vancouver native who played for the Ontario Blues in 2013 has also been named to the side.
"I'm really pleased for all the boys who made the squad. The hard work starts now for all of them," said BC Bears head coach Jim Dixon. "It's unfortunate there aren't a few more BC Bears named on the list, but they need to now go back and work on their performances in the Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League and look to next season's CRC."
Dixon was also glad to see Bears Captain Callum Morrison named to the roster and is looking forward to the 27-year-old Victoria native making an impact at the national level.
"It is nice to se the hard work and consistent performances have been rewarded with selection," added Dixon. "Callum, along with so many others on the BC squad trained very hard this summer and worked at developing their game. Just reward for a good CRC campaign."
Read the full Rugby Canada ARC squad announcement:
Canada opened last year’s event with a 28-10 victory over Uruguay before defeating their North American rivals, USA 23-3 on Day Two. The two opening victories pitted the hosts against fellow undefeated side, Argentina in the finale of the tournament. However, the South Americas would prevail 28-9 in front of a sold-out crowd of nearly 3,300 fans on the final game day.
The round-robin style tournament, played between Canada, USA, Uruguay and Argentina, is an IRB sanctioned event designed to develop domestic-based players in the Americas.
Members of Canada’s National High Performance Coaching Staff were in attendance at each of the 2013 Canadian Rugby Championship (CRC) games and used the domestic competition to pick this year’s ARC Team.
“The CRC has served its purpose in that it’s getting our best players to play against one another and we get to see them on one level playing field,” said coach Crowley from the Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence.
“I thought the competition throughout the CRC was really good, it made decisions challenging.”
The importance of this developmental path to grow Canada’s Men’s talent pool is evident in the long list of players required to compete in the busy eight weeks from October until early December. During that time Canada’s Sevens and Fifteens Team will compete in the Gold Coast Sevens, ARC, New Zealand Maori Game, November Tests against Georgia, Romania and Portugal and the Dubai and South Africa legs of the Sevens World Series.
In this year’s side, seven members of the MacTier Cup Championship winning Ontario Blues have been selected, with another eight coming from the BC Bears, five from the Prairie Wolf Pack and three from The Rock.
Jake Illnicki and Jack Fitzpatrick, who did not play in the CRC due to overseas commitments, competed for Canada’s U20 Team in the Junior World Rugby Trophy recently. Vancouver’s Conor Trainor and Calgary’s Nick Blevins also did not appear in this year’s CRC season due to injury, but will return to Canada’s lineup for the ARC.
Not available for selection to Canada’s Fifteens and Sevens Teams at the moment due to injury are Tom Dolezel, Jake Webster, and Sean Duke. Ontario Blues fly-half Liam Underwood and Wolf Pack scrum-half Gordon McRorie are unavailable due to university commitments and international ineligibility respectively.
Furthermore, due to the start of the IRB Sevens World Series, Canada’s Sevens athletes will be in Australia during ARC, including Nathan Hirayama, Harry Jones, Nanyak Dala, Justin Douglas, Lucas Hammond, Ciaran Hearn, Pat Kay, John Moonlight, Pat Parfrey, Connor Braid, Sean Ferguson and Mike Fuailefau.
Rugby Canada is once again proud to be hosting this exciting event in Langford, BC, at the home of Canada’s Rugby Program at the Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence. Excitement around last year’s tournament was big in Greater Victoria and this year will prove to be the same.
"We train every day in Langford and the opportunity to play in front of our home fans is huge for us,” said Oakville, Ontario native Mike Scholz.
“Westhills Stadium is a unique facility where the fans are basically on the field and the support we receive helps us compete.”
Canada’s 2013 IRB Americas Rugby Championship Roster:
Kyle Baille, (Castaway Wanderers/The Rock) Charlottetown, PEI
Ray Barkwill, (Niagara Wasps RFC/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
Nick Blevins, (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Alistair Clark, (Baystreet RFC/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Zac Coughlan, (Swilers RFC/The Rock) St. John’s, NL
Joe Dolesau, (Burnaby Lake RC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
Jack Fitzpatrick, (Dublin University Football Club) Dublin, Ireland
Aaron Flagg, (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
Kyle Gilmour, (St. Albert Rugby Club/Prairie Wolf Pack) Edmonton, AB
Micha Gorvorchin, (Burnaby Lake RC/BC Bears) New Westminster, BC
Matt Heaton, (SABRFC/The Rock) Godmanchester, QC
Jake Illnicki, (Williams Lake Rustlers/Auckland Colts) Williams Lake, BC
Adam Kleeberger, (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) White Rock, BC
Jamie Mackenzie, (UVIC Vikes/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Duncan Maguire, (St. Albert Rugby Club/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Ryan March, (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
Adam McQueen, (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Canmore, AB
Henry (Hank) McQueen, (Balmy Beach/Ontario Blues) West Vancouver, BC
Callum Morrison, (UBCOC Ravens/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Mike Scholz, (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) London, ON
Andrew Tiedemann, (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Conor Trainor, (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Sean White, (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Jordan Wilson-Ross, (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Alliston, ON
Doug Wooldridge, (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
Head Coach: Kieran Crowley
Assistant Coach: Chris Silverthorn
Scrum Coach: Mike Shelley
Manager: Mark Winokur
Performance Analyst: Calum Ramsay
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Andy Evans
Physiotherapist: Danielle Mah
Athletic Therapist: Jessica Smith
Media Coordinator: Bryan Kelly
2013 IRB Americas Rugby Championship Schedule:
Game Day 1 - October 11, 2013
6pm PT/9pm ET - USA vs. Argentina
8pm PT/11pm ET - Canada vs. Uruguay
Game Day 2 - October 15, 2013
6pm PT/9pm ET - Argentina vs. Uruguay
8pm PT/11pm ET - USA vs. Canada
Game Day 3 - October 19, 2013
3pm PT/6pm ET - Uruguay vs. USA
5pm PT/8pm PT - Argentina vs. Canada