LANGFORD, BC – Rugby Canada is pleased to announce the 21 Men’s Sevens players that have centralized in Langford, B.C., ahead of the 2017-18 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and upcoming international season.
The squad features 16 returnees from last year’s carded squad, which finished 8th on the World Series and made history by winning their first ever Cup title in Singapore.
“Last year we exceeded everyone’s expectations in a competition that becomes tougher every year. The fact that everyone can beat everyone means we have to be consistent from the start. The players themselves have set high standards and proved that they have the quality to match anyone. The road to Tokyo 2020 starts here and we have a committed group that can go the distance," said head coach, Damian McGrath.
Phil Berna, Luke Bradley, Jared Douglas, Justin Douglas, Mike Fuailefau, Lucas Hammond, Nathan Hirayama, Harry Jones, Isaac Kaay, Pat Kay, John Moonlight, Luke McCloskey, Josiah Morra, Matt Mullins, Liam Underwood return as carded players. Adam Zaruba is yet to re-join the program after a brief training stint with the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, but is due to join his team mates in January if NFL options are not forthcoming.
The team is bolstered by the return of Connor Braid and Admir Cejvanovic from the Fifteens Program along with newcomers Jake Thiel and Andrew Coe. Braid, Cejvanovic and Coe will split their duties amongst both sevens and fifteens programs in discussion with coaches and their own wishes.
One exciting addition is the carding of the CFL’s Tevaughn Campbell, who will join in November at the end of his stint in Montreal with the Alouettes.
“This group of players is a very exciting mix of established names and great potential. Although our squad numbers have had to drop, the depth has certainly increased. The quality of Braid and Cejanovic gives us even more experience whilst Coe and Thiel are the type of young player who can take the Sevens stage by storm over the next few years. I am particularly excited to see how Tevaughn Campbell develops. He has all the athletic attributes to succeed but needs time to work his way into a sport that is new to him,” added McGrath from Langford, BC.
The 2017-18 season consists of 10 tournaments on the World Series, along with the Silicon Valley 7s in November, Commonwealth Games in April and the Rugby World Cup 7s in July.
“The testing nature of modern 7’s is never more evident than this upcoming year. The 10 tournaments on the World Series are always a daunting physical test but the addition of a Commonwealth Games and a World Cup will test the quality and ability of our squad,” added McGrath.
Canada will be led by returning veterans Jones, Moonlight, who is Canada’s all-time tournament cap leader, and Hirayama. The Richmond, BC native sits 14th on the all-time points scoring race with 1,130 and finished last season in 4th with 269 points.
Abbotsford’s Justin Douglas had a breakout season as Canada’s top finisher, scoring 40 tries in 10 tournaments, good enough for third behind USA’s Perry Baker (57) and England’s Dan Norton (51).
For the third straight year, HSBC Canada Sevens returns to Vancouver’s BC Place March 10-11. After more than 75,000 fans filled the stadium for this year’s events, tickets have been selling at a rapid.
To purchase tickets, please click here.
Canada’s Men’s Sevens Centralized Roster:
Phil Berna – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)
Luke Bradley – UVIC Vikes/Port Alberni Black Sheep (Port Alberni, BC)
Connor Braid – James Bay AA (Victoria, BC)
Admir Cejvanovic – Burnaby Lake RFC (Burnaby, BC)
Andrew Coe – Markham Irish (Markham, ON)
Jared Douglas – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)
Justin Douglas – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)
Mike Fuailefau – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
Lucas Hammond – UVIC Vikes (Toronto, ON)
Nathan Hirayama – Unattached (Richmond, BC)
Harry Jones – Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
Isaac Kaay – UVIC Vikes (Kamloops, BC)
Pat Kay – Castaway Wanderers (Duncan, BC)
Josiah Morra – Castaway Wanderers (Toronto, ON)
Luke McCloskey – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
John Moonlight – James Bay AA (Pickering, ON)
Matt Mullins – Queen’s University (Belleville, ON)
Jake Thiel – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford), BC
Liam Underwood – Balmy Beach RFC (Toronto, ON)
Adam Zaruba – Capilano RFC (Vancouver, BC)
Tevaughn Campbell – Unattached (Toronto, ON)
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Calendar & Upcoming Tournaments:
Silicon Valley, USA – November 4-5, 2017
Dubai, UAE – December 1-2, 2017
Cape Town, South Africa – December 9-10, 2017
Sydney, Australia – January 26-28, 2018
Hamilton, New Zealand – February 3-4, 2018
Las Vegas, USA – March 2-4, 2018
Vancouver, Canada – March 10-11, 2018
Hong Kong, Hong Kong – April 6-8, 2018
Commonwealth Games – Gold Coast, Australia – April 13-15, 2018
Singapore, Singapore – April 28-29, 2018
London, England – June 2-3, 2018
Paris, France – June 9-10, 2018
Rugby World Cup 7s – San Francisco, USA – July 2018
Original Content by Brian Kelly, Rugby Canada. Image Courtesy of Rugby Canada