(ISN) – National Men’s Sevens coach Geraint John has selected a squad of 13 players to travel to and compete at the International Rugby Board HSBC Sevens in Hong Kong at the end of March.
Canada will journey to Asia for the Hong Kong Sevens, taking place from March 23-25, looking to build and continue the success they have had so far this season.
The team is coming off of a tremendous Las Vegas 7s tournament, which saw them pick up victories over the US, Uraguay and Japan en route to a hard fought 19-17 win over Australia in the Bowl final.
The win in Vegas came in the heels of a terrific Wellington 7s tournament, which not only saw the squad advance to the quarter finals but also come out of pool play at the top of their group in New Zealand.
These performances on the past two tournaments, paired with season highlights such as a win over Samoa in Dubai and a trip to the Bowl final in South Africa, the Men’s 7s are really showing they can compete with the best on the world stage.
“We are really looking forward to the event,” says John. “With the IRB now issuing us the criteria on how to become a core team, we can go into an event like this knowing exactly what is expected and exactly what we need to accomplish.”
The coach explains that the squad has 13, as opposed to the usual 12, as some players are nursing injuries.
“The selection process for us right now is so difficult, which really isn’t a bad thing,” states John. “For us it means we have a very deep player pool to choose from. We have used 22 different players this season and have continued to have success. This is great for our program not only now, but for the future as well.”
There are familiar faces on the Sevens squad, including Nathan Hirayama, Ciaran Hearn, John Moonlight, Nanyak Dala and Sean Duke.
Sean White will also be back after missing both the Wellington and Vegas tournaments for medical reasons; he has been fully cleared to play.
Young stars Conor Trainor, Taylor Paris and Jeff Hassler, have been retained after their performances in the Wellington and Vegas tournaments.
The new player in this season’s squad is Chauncey O’Toole, who is currently playing for the Ospreys in Wales. With the Ospreys granting O’Toole release for this tournament, the squad is hoping that he will be able to bring his experience with him as he makes the trip to Hong Kong.
The squad will gather together on March 12th to begin preparation for this tournament, though the players in Victoria have been training all year, with scheduled departure to Hong Kong set for March 15th.
John will be joined by fellow staff members Kieran Crowley, Brian Hunter, Matt Barr and Isabel Grondin.
The team and staff would like to thank the Canadian Rugby Foundation for giving them the opportunity to arrive in Hong Kong early to begin preparation for the tournament. This is the second year the Canadian Rugby Foundation has lent their support to allow the team to do this, and everyone involved is extremely grateful.
The National Men’s Sevens team is proudly sponsored by Macquarie Financial in association with Trafigura Ltd.
2012 Hong Kong Sevens Squad:
Tyler Ardron (McMaster Marauders, Ontario Blues) (Peterborough, ON)
Nanyak Dala (Castaway Wanderers, Prairie Wolf Pack) (Saskatoon, SK)
Sean Duke (University of Victoria, British Columbia) (Vancouver, BC)
Ciaran Hearn (Castaway Wanderers, The Rock) (Conception Bay, NL)
Nathan Hirayama (University of Victoria, British Columbia) (Richmond, BC)
Taylor Paris (Markham Irish Canadians, Ontario Blues) (Barrie, ON)
Conor Trainor (UBC, Old Boy Ravens, British Columbia) (Vancouver, BC)
Sean White (James Bay, British Columbia) (Victoria, BC)
Harry Jones (University of British Columbia, British Columbia) (Vancouver, BC)
Mike Scholz (Castaway Wanderers, Ontario Blues) (Oakville, ON)
Chauncey O’Toole (Belleisle Rovers, Ospreys, The Rock) (Saint John, NB)
Jeff Hassler (Okotoks RFC, Prairie Wolf Pack) (Okotoks, AB)
John Moonlight (James Bay, Ontario Blues) (Scarborough, ON)