June 21,2014(ISN) – Next Saturday marks the biggest test of the Ontario Blues’ 2014 preseason, when the province’s senior men’s rugby team faces USA Rugby’s Collegiate All-Americans side at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, Mass., located just outside of Boston.
With many of the Blues internationals tied up with national team duty for the month of June, head coach Chris Silverthorn has chosen a mixed side of veterans and up-and-coming talent that is comparable to the level of the team he expects to name for the Canadian Rugby Championship opener in August.
Ontario will feature a few additions to their preseason opener squad that defeated top-tier American side New York Athletic Club on May 3. Joining the Blues is Canadian international prop Tom Dolezel, Canada Sevens winger Jake Webster, and Canadian Maple Leafs Sevens fullback Dan Mathie.
“To be able to add three players who have national team experience will be a big boost for us heading into the match,” said Silverthorn. “Tom, Jake, and Dan are anxious to hit the pitch, and we’re looking forward to putting them to the test against this tough All-Americans side.”
The Blues are undefeated in preseason play this year, winning all three of their matches in May – the aforementioned match against NYAC, a development side fixture against CRC rivals Atlantic Rock, and a Super Sevens match against New York Rhinos in Philadelphia – but for Silverthorn, the June 28 fixture against the Collegiate All-Americans is the target game of Ontario’s preseason.
“The All-Americans are essentially the USA U23 side, and as a national side, the upcoming match will serve as a good measure of where we stand heading into the CRC season,” he added. “Our guys have been working hard at training, both with the Canadian national team last week and on our own throughout the preseason, and we’re excited for the opportunity.”
Nineteen of the players selected to the All-Americans’ 33-man squad played for D1A Rugby schools in 2014. D1A Champion Saint Mary’s College is represented by six players, including Final MVP Cooper Maloney. The All-Americans’ match against the Blues will be the third of their three-match June series, which will also see them face Cambridge University in a back-to-back matchup.
The match against the All-Americans marks the final preseason game for the Blues. From there, Ontario will kick off their Canadian Rugby Championship season against the Atlantic Rock on August 16 at Twin Elm Rugby Park in Ottawa.
Ontario Blues vs. Collegiate All-Americans – Name (Club)
Rob Brouwer (Lindsay RFC)
Alistair Clark (Bay Street RFC)
Tom Dolezel (London St. George’s)
Scott Dunham (Balmy Beach)
Sawyer Herron (Oakville Crusaders)
Hank McQueen (Balmy Beach)
Haddon Murray (Balmy Beach)
Seb Pearson (London St. George’s)
Pat Richardson (Toronto Scottish)
Tim Richardson (Toronto Scottish)
JT Rowbotham (Lindsay RFC)
Jacob Rumball (Balmy Beach)
Lucas Rumball (Balmy Beach)
Matt Alexander (Oshawa Vikings)
Josh Campbell (London St. George’s)
Derek Daypuck (London St. George’s), Captain
Andrew Ferguson (Oakville Crusaders)
Rich Lebel (Waterloo County)
Dan Mathie (Oakville Crusaders)
Dan Moor (Balmy Beach)
Jake Webster (Lindsay RFC)
Shawn Windsor (Stoney Creek)
Dave Worsley (Markham Irish)
Ontario Blues Team Staff
Chris Silverthorn – Head Coach
Paul Connelly – Assistant Coach
Paul Ambrose – Scrum Coach
Mark Winokur – Manager
Rodin Lozada – Performance Analyst
Chris Kelly – Athletic Therapist
Dr. Chris Gallimore – Team Doctor
Ontario Blues 2014 Match Schedule:
*NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB 22 @ ONTARIO BLUES 34
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Kick off: 4:00 p.m.
Bill Crothers Secondary School Field, Unionville, Ont.
*ATLANTIC ROCK ‘A’ SIDE 33 @ ONTARIO BLUES ‘A’ SIDE 38
Monday, May 19, 2014
Kick off: 1:00 p.m.
Crusaders Park, Oakville, Ont.
*ONTARIO BLUES SEVENS 79 @ NEW YORK RHINOS SEVENS 43
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Kick off: 12:30 p.m.
PPL Park, Phildelphia, Pa.
*ONTARIO BLUES @ USA U23 XV (COLLEGIATE ALL-AMERICANS)
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Kick off: 2:30 p.m.
Irish Cultural Center, Canton. Mass.
ATLANTIC ROCK @ ONTARIO BLUES
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Kick off: 4:30 p.m.
Twin Elm Rugby Park, Ottawa, Ont.
ONTARIO BLUES @ PRAIRIE WOLFPACK
Thursday, September 4, 2014
ONTARIO BLUES @ BRITISH COLUMBIA BEARS
Sunday, September 7, 2014
BRITISH COLUMBIA BEARS @ ONTARIO BLUES (RECHARGE WITH MILK CUP)
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Kick off: 8:00 p.m.
Alumni Field, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont.
PRAIRIE WOLF PACK @ ONTARIO BLUES
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Kick off: 1:00 p.m.
Nicholls Oval Park, Peterborough, Ont.
ONTARIO BLUES @ ATLANTIC ROCK
Saturday, September 27, 2014