Bryan Kelly, Rugby Canada
Admir Cejvanovic and Adam Zaruba have been recalled to Canada’s Men’s Seven squad for the penultimate HSBC Sevens Series tournament of the season in Paris next week.
Cejvanovic missed out in Singapore with injury while Zaruba hasn’t featured since Vancouver. John Moonlight once again captains Canada and is joined by Phil Berna, Luke Bradley, Justin Douglas, Mike Fuailefau, Lucas Hammond Nathan Hirayama, Luke McCloskey, Matt Mullins, Conor Trainor and Sean White.
“We’re certainly excited for Paris,” Head Coach Liam Middleton said. “It presents another opportunity for us to get out and face good opposition. There are no real goals in terms of the outcome of the tournament. It’s about playing well.”
Canada enters the tournament in 13th place in the season standings. Despite having not reached a cup quarter, Canada has claimed the bowl title on two occasions in Sydney and then famously in Vancouver.
In Paris, Canada has been drawn into Pool D with Argentina, USA and hosts France, the latter two Canada played during the pool stages in Singapore. Canada has yet to play Argentina this season and is 1-1 against France and has a loss and tie with the USA.
“With the series nowadays nothing’s a given,” said Douglas. “We’ve beaten teams way above us but lost to teams below us in the standings. Anything can happen but in sevens so much changes.”
With the Olympic repecharge in Monaco fast approaching, Middleton is hoping to use the Paris Sevens, as well as the London Sevens the following week, as part of final preparations for the qualifier.
“There’s so much spoken about the qualifier and it will mean so much to the teams participating in it,” Middleton said. “However, with our focus on Paris and London it really is part of that process which is about getting out there, playing well and to our potential and then taking that momentum into the qualifier.”
With just two tournaments left in the season, Hirayama leads the series in points with 288 and is tied for fifth with 26 tries and is averaging an astonishing 36 points per tournament this season. Fifteen different players have scored tries for Canada this year with six players in double digits.
The Paris Sevens, which runs May 13-15, can be seen LIVE in its entirety at www.worldrugby.org
Canada’s Roster for the Paris Sevens (Name, Club, Hometown):
Phil Berna – (UBC Thunderbirds), Vancouver, BC
Luke Bradley – (UVic), Port Alberni, BC
Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond – (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Nathan Hirayama – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
Luke McCloskey – (Castaway Wanderers) Victoria, BC
John Moonlight – Captain (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Matt Mullins – (Queens University/Ontario Blues) Belleville, ON
Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Sean White – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Unavailable due to injury:
Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Sean Duke – (Unattached) Vancouver, BC
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) West Vancouver, BC
Pat Kay – (Unattached) Duncan, BC
Mike Scholz – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Liam Underwood – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Canada’s Paris Sevens Day 1 Schedule:
Canada vs. France – 2:50pm ET/11:50am PT
Canada’s Paris Sevens Day 2 Schedule:
Canada vs. Argentina – 5:58am ET/2:58am PT
Canada vs. USA – 9:09am ET/6:09am PT
About Rugby Canada
Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of rugby union in Canada. Rugby Football has a long history in Canada dating back to its initial appearance in the 1860s. Since 1974, Rugby Canada has been a permanent fixture on the global rugby scene, including trips to each of the eight Men’s Rugby World Cups and seven Women’s Rugby World Cups. As a regular on the Men’s and Women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Canada continues to climb the world rankings and challenge the dominant rugby nations in both versions of the game.
To support the growth of rugby at the grass-roots level and to ensure there are elite programs for prospering young rugby players to become involved with, Rugby Canada has put an emphasis on developing its junior programs. Our goal is to develop and train competitive teams for the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Tokyo, Japan respectively, the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland and 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.