May 28, 2013, (ISN) – Men’s rugby sevens will make its Universiade debut in Kazan, with the inaugural tournament set for July 14 to 17.
Canada has enjoyed some success in the sport at the FISU world university championship, a biennial competition which started in 2004. The Canadian men, who did not participate in the 2004 tourney, finished seventh in 2006 (Rome, Italy), 10th in 2008 (Cordoba, Spain) and sixth in 2010 (Porto, Portugal), before dropping to 13th in 2012 (Brive, France).
The 12-man roster heading to Russia is comprised of Byron Boville, Eric Howard and Joe Newman from the University of Guelph, Justin Chan and Ade Ojo from Western, Jonathan Hill and Liam Murphy-Burke from UBC, Riley Saliken and Matt Taylor from Royal Military College, Richard Lebel from Waterloo, Caleb Jordan from Concordia and Andrew Battaglia from California, Berkeley.
“We are very excited with the athletic quality and character of the young men who have been selected to represent their country. A nice mix of power and pace will no doubt provide some substantial challenges to the opposition,” said Canadian head coach Sean McDonaugh from RMC. “Getting together in Kingston for a five-day training camp prior to our departure for Russia will provide us with just enough time for the boys to get to know each other and implement some basic structure to our game plan.”
“We will be led by the likes of Jonathan Hill and Richard Lebel, both returning to the squad after a solid performance last summer at the world university championship in France. Andrew Battaglia and Byron Boville also have international experience having represented Canada at the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2011,” McDonaugh added.
Rounding out the team personnel are assistant coach Cory Hector from the University of Guelph and therapist Danielle Mah from Rugby Canada.
In Kazan, Canada will compete in the preliminary round in Pool A against tournament host Russia (July 14), Poland (July 14) and Ukraine (July 15). The final of the 16-team competition is set for July 17.
Poland placed seventh at the 2012 FISU championship. Russia and Ukraine did not compete at the event won by Great Britain.
TEAM CANADA ROSTER
7’s Position – Name – University – Hometown
Front Row Andrew Battaglia California, Berkeley Richmond Hill, Ont.
Scrum Half Byron Boville Guelph Barrie, Ont.
Centre Justin Chan Western Brantford, Ont.
Centre Jonathan Hill UBC Edmonton, Alta.
Centre Eric Howard Guelph Ottawa, Ont.
Wing Caleb Jordan Concordia Montreal, Que.
Front Row Richard Lebel Waterloo Waterloo, Ont.
Front Row Liam Murphy-Burke UBC White Rock, B.C.
Centre Joe Newman Guelph Waterloo, Ont.
Front Row Ade Ojo Western Whitby, Ont.
Scrum Half Riley Saliken RMC Abbotsford, B.C.
Wing Matt Taylor RMC Bridgewater, N.S.
Position Name Affiliation Hometown
Head Coach Sean McDonaugh RMC Montreal, Que.
Assistant Cory Hector Guelph Cambridge, Ont.
Therapist Danielle Mah Rugby Canada Vancouver, B.C.
UNIVERSIADE POOLS & SCHEDULE:
Pool A: Russia, Poland, CANADA, Ukraine
Pool B: Great Britain, Belgium, Malaysia, Georgia
Pool C: South Africa, Japan, Namibia, Latvia
Pool D: France, Romania, Italy, Brazil
July 14: Canada vs. Russia
July 14: Canada vs. Poland
July 15: Canada vs. Ukraine
July 15: Placement matches (bottom 8)
July 16: Placement matches (top 8)
July 17: Tournament final