July 20,2014(ISN) – Nations from a total of six continents will compete in the coming weekend’s action in this the fifth occasion that Sevens has been played at the Commonwealth Games.
Much like the IRB World Sevens Series, interest has grown in the sport since its 1998 Games bow in Kuala Lumpur, with Manchester, Melbourne and Delhi following as hosts every four years. Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow will now take centre stage.
Despite the change in venue over the past sixteen years, one thing hasn’t altered each tournament and that’s the victor, with New Zealand having won each Games, Fiji twice being runner-up and England and Australia also falling at the final hurdle.
Canada meanwhile have enjoyed mixed form in their two most recent outings in the sixteen-team competition, as in 2006 they made it to the Plate semis where they fell narrowly to South Africa before four years later it was pool heartbreak behind New Zealand and Scotland, going on to lose in the Bowl final against Papua New Guinea.
But with their World Sevens Series progress since the 2010 Games being on such a steep upward curve, many would expect Canada to push on in Glasgow and be dark horses at the business end of the showpiece, with players such as John Moonlight, Nathan Hirayama, Ciaran Hearn, Conor Trainor and Sean Duke all having accrued Commonwealth experience that they will look to use to good effect this weekend.
Looking to better 2010 is a task made all the more intriguing by the fact Kieran Crowley’s charges face both the All Blacks Sevens and the Scots yet again in the group stage, with Barbados completing a testing quartet. Cup progress would likely see Canada face either of Pool B heavyweights South Africa or Kenya on Sunday.
In the three other pools there are representatives from Asia, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Oceania, as non core-teams such as Trinidad and Tobago, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Cook Islands, Uganda and the aforementioned Papua New Guinea await the spotlight in what promises to be an entertaining two days.
COMMONWEALTH GAMES SCHEDULE DAY 1:
Canada vs New Zealand: 5:32am ET/2:32am PT
Canada vs Barbados: 7:50am ET/4:50am PT
Canada vs Scotland: 4:04pm ET/1:04pm PT
Men’s Sevens Team for Commonwealth Games – Name (Club) Hometown
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/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Ciaran Hearn (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
Nathan Hirayama (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
Harry Jones (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
John Moonlight (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Sean White (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Mike Scholz (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Conor Trainor (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC