One change in Canada’s roster for final stop

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PhilMack

May 8, 2014, LONDON, ENGLAND (ISN) – Canada head coach Geraint John has announced a nearly untouched roster from last weekend’s best-ever second-place finish for this weekend’s finale of the 2013/2014 IRB World Sevens Series at Twickenham.

Phil Mack – Photo: Ian Muir

Abbotsford’s Justin Douglas slots in for injured forward Mike Scholz as the only change. 

ConnorBraid
Connor Braid – Photo: Ian Muir

Canada will also undoubtedly be rallying around Victoria’s Phil Mack this weekend, who’s set to compete in his 50th all-time Sevens Tournament in London. Mack made his debut in Hong Kong in 2006 and is Canada’s all-time points scoring leader with 856 World Series points, which ties him for 15th on the Series with France’s Paul Albaladejo. Along with his 43 appearances on the Series, Mack has competed for Canada in two Rugby World Cup Sevens events, the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India, the 2011 PANAM Games in Guadalajara and NACRA tournaments. 

 

Last weekend, wins over Japan, France, Kenya and Scotland, with a draw against England, capped a positive penultimate round at Scotstoun Stadium that saw the team rise one spot in the table above Samoa into sixth, with their season going from strength to strength. Now though is about finishing with a flourish as John’s side approach a pool of Samoa, USA and Kenya; eyeing Cup action for a sixth straight leg. If they can again battle in the weekend’s elite eight, it would another showing of consistency.

Of course these performances are all being put in ahead of the Commonwealth Games in July before the ultimate stage in sport, the Olympic Games in Brazil, 2016. Such important competitions will require depth of quality, which has certainly been prominent since the turn of the year, as results suggest.

That pool of talent has been fully utilized this season as periods without captain Nathan Hirayama, Ciaran Hearn, Nanyak Dala and other experienced players have seen other players step in admirably, typified last week when Mike Scholz scored five tries, with John saying the team is raring to go this weekend.

“The players have trained well all week and prepared diligently. They want to end on a high and I am looking forward to the weekend like the first,” he said.

Canada’s Men’s London Sevens May 10 – 11

Day One

Canada vs Samoa at 09:00am local (04:00am ET/01:00am PT)

Canada kick-off their pool campaign against the side whom they replaced in sixth position in the standings, with the islanders’ lack of Cup action in the last three tournaments ultimately seeing them drop down the ladder to eighth ahead of Twickenham. However, their form in previous campaigns and outings against Canada makes head coach John wary, especially as the opening pool fixture often sets a precedent.

“They’ve had a few injuries but I thought they were better last week. We must remember that in their pool in Glasgow was New Zealand and South Africa. They still have that physicality and their attack is dangerous, with individuals who can step off both feet and split open defences. We will have to be at our best.”

Canada vs USA at 12:06pm local (07:06am ET/04:06am PT)

USA will want to bounce back from last week’s effort in Glasgow as they endured their worst showing of the campaign at Scotstoun Stadium, losing five games out of five, including defeats to Spain and Japan. However, John insists that they will be a threat.

“They put in new players last weekend and had some players missing from the Asia leg. With regards to us, the games will be very intense – each team always gets up for this game. They beat us in Tokyo, the last time we played we scored some very good individual tries, so again we’ll have to be at our best to win.”

Canada vs Kenya at 15:54pm local (10:54am ET/07:54am PT)

Canada conclude Day One against Kenya, who they edged last week in Glasgow 14-5 in the Cup quarter-final as Mike Scholz and Harry Jones crossed the line. But with Paul Treu coaching the side, John knows that they are never an easy proposition, especially with the vocal support they receive at each IRB event.

“When we faced them it was difficult due to their amount of support. There seems to be more Kenyans in the ground than any other – they are the fan favourites.”

Canada’s Men’s London Sevens

May 10-11 – Day One

Canada vs Samoa at 09:00am local (04:00am ET/01:00am PT)

Canada vs USA at 12:06pm local (07:06am ET/04:06am PT)

Canada vs Kenya at 15:54pm local (10:54am ET/07:54am PT)

Canada’s Roster for London – (Club, CRC Team) Hometown, Province

Connor Braid – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC

Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC 

Sean Duke – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers) Victoria, BC

Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC

Pat Kay – (Uvic Vikes/BC Bears) Duncan, BC

Adam Kleeberger – (Castaway Wanderers RFC/BC Bears) White Rock, BC

Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC

Duncan Maguire – (St. Albert Rugby Club/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB

John Moonlight (captain) – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON

Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

Sean White – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC

Senior Men’s Team Staff:
 
Geraint John – Head Coach
Kieran Crowley – Assistant Coach
Danielle Mah – Physiotherapist
Calum Ramsay – Performance Analyst
Lorna Barry – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Brian Hunter – Manager

Canada’s Men’s Sevens Program is proudly sponsored by Sport Canada and Own the Podium.

Photo credit: Ian Muir

 

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