LANGFORD, BC – Newly appointed men’s head coach Kingsley Jones has announced his long list for the upcoming highly anticipated fixture against the Maori All Blacks on November 3rd at BC Place. The list includes a total of 11 players, from eight teams, currently playing in the BC Rugby Premier Division. Seven of those players were also part of this summer's BC Bears team that went undefeated on their way to claiming the 2017 Canadian Rugby Championship title.
Jones has had to hit the ground running since arriving in Canada last Sunday evening, with player and staff meetings, training at the Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence and Tuesday’s announcement at BC Place taking place in less than one week.
“Over the last five days I’ve had a chance to check out the Centre of Excellence in Langford, meet the staff and players and get acquainted with many in the Canadian Rugby and media landscape,” said Jones in Langford.
“With the 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay set for January 27 and February 3, these next four weeks provide our team with quality opposition as we grow towards securing our spot for Japan 2019,” added the former Welsh international.
Canada will gather in Vancouver tomorrow to continue preparations on UBC’s Campus for the November 3 showdown against the highly touted Maori All Blacks Team.
Despite November 3rd being outside of the official World Rugby test match window, Jones will have access to 2015 Rugby World Cup veterans: Tyler Ardron, Ray Barkwill, Hubert Buydens, Kyle Gilmour, Phil Mack and Djustice Sears-Duru.
“I am excited for the team that we will be centralizing in Vancouver this weekend and to work with some of Canada’s most well-known and experienced internationals. The Maori All Blacks are known for being one of the most formidable sides in international rugby and we are going to have be prepared for a difficult contest next Friday,” added Jones.
“We have been working closely with the players, their professional clubs and our own staff to put forth the best squad available, not only for next Friday’s fixture against the Maori, but also the three test matches in Europe.”
Following next weekend Friday night’s clash, Canada will depart for Tbilisi to face Georgia, Spain (Madrid) and Fiji (France) on the 11th, 18th and 25th respectively. Each of these test matches will have world ranking implications and are important for Canada to prepare for a busy and crucial 2018.
Names unavailable due to injury or other commitments include: Matt Evans, Conor Trainor, Connor Braid, Admir Cejvanovic, Conor Desmond, Cole Keith, Gordon McRorie, Taylor Paris and Jeff Hassler.
Upon arrival in Tbilisi Canada’s roster could potentially be bolstered by the return of overseas professionals, including: Ciaran Hearn, Aaron Carpenter, DTH van der Merwe, Jake Ilnicki, Evan Olmstead and Brett Beukeboom.
Jones will be supported on tour with a coaching support staff list of Graeme Moffat, Mike Shelley, Francois Ratier (Vancouver only) and Jason Strange, who’s on loan from the Welsh Rugby Union on secondment.
Tuesday morning, Rugby Canada also announced that next Friday’s match is almost completely sold out, with a very limited amount of tickets remaining through exclusive packages. This is expected to give the event the largest crowd in Canadian rugby history for a Fifteens match.
Sports fans who want to get in on the festivities but are not able to purchase a ticket to the game are invited to attend the traditional Rugby style Long Lunch in advance of the match, set to take place on game day, Friday, November 3rd, from 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM at The Shark Club on West Georgia Street.
This one-of-a-kind event will be hosted by Canada’s Sports & World Rugby Hall of Famer, Gareth Rees, with guest speaker, the legendary former New Zealand All Blacks Captain Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford. For tickets, visit events.rugbycanada.ca
Be a part of the unique experience that is Rugby at BC Place! To purchase tickets to the match against Uruguay, visit www.ticketmaster.ca and for more information on suites to the match, visit events.rugbycanada.ca
Canada’s Men’s Team long list for Maori All Blacks fixture:
Tyler Ardron – (Chiefs/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
Ray Barkwill – (Seattle Seawolves/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
Kyle Baillie – (London Scottish/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI
Hubert Buydens – (New Orleans Gold/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Andrew Coe – (Markham Irish/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Dustin Dobravsky – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Hanover, Germany
Guiseppe du Toit – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Maple Ridge, BC
Andrew Ferguson – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
Kyle Gilmour – (St. Albert RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Matt Heaton – (Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock) Godmanchester, QC
Eric Howard – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Ottawa, ON
Conor Keys – (UVIC Vikes/Atlantic Rock) Stittsville, ON
Ryan Kotlewski – (Westshore RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Martial Lagain – (Sherbrooke Abenakis/Atlantic Rock) Saint-Jean-de-Marsacq, France
Josh Larsen – (Northland) Parksville, BC
Ben LeSage – (UBC Thunderbirds/BC Bears) Calgary, AB
Kainoa Lloyd – (Mississauga Blues/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
Anthony Luca – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Mike Nieuwenhuysen – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Brampton, ON
Shane O’Leary – (Ealing Trailfinders) Cork, Ireland
Patrick Parfrey – (Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
Robbie Povey – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Northampton, England
Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
Jorden Sandover-Best – (UBC Old Boys Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Djustice Sears-Duru – (Ealing Trailfinders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Brock Staller – (Meralomas RFC/BC Bears) Surrey, BC
Matt Tierney – (Section Paloise/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Italics indicates plays for a BC Premier Division team
Canada’s November international calendar:
Canada vs. Maori All Blacks
November 3rd, 2017
BC Place Stadium, Vancouver, BC Canada
10pm ET/7pm PT
Watch LIVE on TSN
Canada vs. Georgia
November 11th, 2017
Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi, Georgia
6pm local time (10am ET/7am PT)
Broadcast details: TBD
Canada vs. Spain
November 18th, 2017
Estadio Nacional Complutense, Madrid, Spain
4pm local time (10am ET/7am PT)
Broadcast details: TBD
Canada vs. Fiji
November 25th, 2017
Kick off time: TBD
Broadcast details: TBD