By Ali Lee, with files from Adam Kyriacou (Rugby Canada)
April 29, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s rugby team are well represented on the international rugby stage.
Recent UVic President’s Cup winner Sean Duke as well as Phil Mack and Nathan Hirayama are critical pieces to the puzzle for Canada’s Rugby Sevens team that will be competing in their second-to-last leg of the 2012-13 IRB World Sevens Series. The trio of Vikes will compete in the Glasgow Sevens, May 4-5, and the London Sevens, May 11-12, to secure another season at the top of the table.
Entering the final two tournaments, Hirayama sits on top of the series points scoring chart with 206, 14 points ahead of Fiji’s Joji Baleviani. Hirayama will be a crucial player for the Canadian contingency that aims to do well in Glasgow to avoid a desperation play-off at the London Sevens.
In addition to Hiryama, fellow Vike Sean Duke hit a remarkable 30 tries in the previous round and with the addition of Canadian John Moonlight crossing the line 16 times this season, three Canadians sit in the top 20 try-scorers this season. In Hong Kong and Japan, Canada had the best scoring strike rate of 78 tries from 107 visits, which totals to a 72 per cent success rate.
In Glasgow, the Canadian team must sit in the overall top 12, or face ultimate survival mode at the London Sevens tournament the following week. Canada has an eight-point cushion over Scotland and the USA, who are tied in 12th place overall. Teams ranked 13th through 15th will play off with Asian champions Hong Kong, Russia, Zimbabwe, Tonga and georgia for the three available core spots for next season.
“Staying as a core team is very important as it gives us competition and also provides us quality of competition against the top teams in our goal to be part of 2016 and Rio’s Olympics,” explained Canada’s head coach Geraint John in a Rugby Canada release after landing in Scotland..”The key priority for us has been to work on our game and to look at what we need to do in Glasgow. We cannot do anything about the other teams and what their results will be. Our goal in every tournament has been to be competitive and to get into the Cup and we still have that goal this weekend.”
Standings with two rounds remaining:
1 New Zealand 132
2 South Africa 100
3 Fiji 98
4 Samoa 94
5 France 77
6 Kenya 77
7 Wales 68
8 Argentina 62
9 Australia 62
10 England 58
11 CANADA 54
12 Scotland 46
13 USA 46
May 4 – May 5, 2013
Canada vs. Samoa – 12:20pm local time (7:20am ET/4:20am PT)
Canada vs. South Africa – 3:04pm local time (10:04am ET/7:04am PT)
Canada vs. Kenya- 5:31pm local time (12:31pm ET/9:31am PT)
May 11 – May 12, 2013
Canada’s Roster for Glasgow and London – (Club, CRC Team) Hometown
Tyler Ardron – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK (Captain)
Sean Duke – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Jeff Hassler – (James Bay Athletic Association/Prairie Wolf Pack) Okotoks, AB
Ciaran Hearn – (Castaway Wanders RFC/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay, NL
Nathan Hirayama – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) West Vancouver, BC
Phil Mack – (Uvic Vikes/ Pacific Tyee) Victoria, BC
John Moonlight – (James Bay Athletic Association/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Chauncey O’Toole – (Bridgend Ravens/Atlantic Rock) Belleisle, NB
Taylor Paris – (Glasgow Warriors/Ontario Blues) Barrie, ON
Conor Trainor – (Western University/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Head Coach: Geraint John
Manager: Brian Hunter
Therapist: Isabel Grondin
Canada’s National Senior Men’s Sevens Team is proudly sponsored by Macquarie Financial, Trafigura and Own the Podium with Support from Sport Canada.