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July 10,2014(ISN) – Ontario Blues Under-19 program head coach Mike Curran has named his roster for the upcoming U19 Canadian Rugby Championship, held July 16-20 at Swilers Rugby Park in St. John’s, N.L.

Curran has selected his 24-man U19 Blues roster with an eye on improving upon the provincial side’s third-place finish in last year’s CRC U19 tournament.

“Fifteen players from last year’s national championship-winning U18 Ontario Junior Blues program have graduated to this year’s U19 side,” said Curran. “This is a team that has come up through the system to build a culture of winning, and they’re hungry to get back to the top of the podium.”

Ontario’s roster features National U20 Team standout Lucas Rumball, who represented Canada at the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy competition in April and has already participated in multiple Ontario Senior Blues preseason matches this season. The squad has also undergone heavy year-over-year turnover, with Paul Ciulini serving as the lone returnee from last year’s bronze-medal winning side.

In all, 16 Ontario rugby clubs are represented within Ontario’s CRC U19 squad.

“Talent is growing in all parts of our province, and with so many up-and-coming young rugby players emerging, it made our selection process very difficult,” added Curran. “With top-quality rugby players being developed across the province, we were able to choose a squad that really shows just how bright the future of Ontario rugby will be.”

The U19 Blues will kick off the round-robin national championship against host side Atlantic Rock on July 16. From there, Ontario will square off against the Prairie Wolf Pack on July 18, before facing longtime rivals and 2013 CRC U19 champions British Columbia Bears on July 19. The U19 Blues will end the tournament with a match against the Lower Canada Voyageurs on July 20.

For more information on CRC U19, please visit: http://www.canadianrugbychampionship.com/

U19 Ontario Blues Canadian Rugby Championship Roster

Andrew Anichini (Vaughan Yeomen)
Mike Appiah-Kubi (Toronto Saracens)*
Brandon Blaikie (Markham Irish)*
Owen Brombal (Guelph Redcoats)*
Paul Ciulini (Aurora Barbarians)*#
Andrew Coe (Markham Irish)*
Trenton Cooper (Oshawa Vikings)*
Rhys Davies (Kingston Panthers)^
Riley Di Nardo (Toronto Saracens)*
Michael Douros (Balmy Beach)*
Matthew Fritz (Guelph Redcoats)
Dillon Goos (London St. George’s)
Tyler Hergott (Waterloo County)*
Mac Kea (Lindsay RFC)*
Peter Milazzo (Toronto Saracens)
Lucus Rumball (Balmy Beach)*
Mitch Santilli (Brantford Harlequins)*
John Shaw (Bytown Blues)*
Zack Shurtleff (Burlington Centaurs)*
Ian Smith (Aurora Barbarians)
Matt Tierney (Mississauga Blues)*
Adrian Wadden (Oakville Crusaders)
Marcello Wainwright (Toronto Saracens)
Ben Wust (Balmy Beach)

* denotes 2013 U18 Ontario Junior Blues player
^ denotes 2013 U18 Ontario East Junior Blues player
# denotes 2013 U19 Ontario Blues returnee

U19 Ontario Blues Team Staff

Mike Curran – Head Coach
Jim Delaney – Assistant Coach
Sean McDonaugh – Assistant Coach
Mark Winokur – Manager
Blake Barry – Athletic Therapist

U19 Ontario Blues 2014 Match Schedule:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Kick off: 5:00 p.m.
Swilers RFC, St. John’s, N. L.

Friday, July 18, 2014
Kick off: 3:30 p.m.
Swilers RFC, St. John’s, N. L.

Saturday, July 19, 2014
Kick off: 1:30 p.m.
Swilers RFC, St. John’s, N. L.

Sunday, July 20, 2014
Kick off: 11:30 a.m.
Swilers RFC, St. John’s, N. L.