New Head Coach Liam Middleton announces roster for second and third stops on HSBC Sevens World Series Olympic Qualifying Year
Photo Colin Watson
(ISN) – LANGFORD, BC – Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team have made three changes to their squad that will compete in the next two legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai and South Africa, with Phil Mack, Sean White and Admir Cejvanovic called in by new head coach Liam Middleton.
All three missed the season opener on the Gold Coast of Australia back in October and take the places of Jake Webster, Jordan Wilson-Ross and Ciaran Hearn, the latter having been allowed time to recover after fifteens action.
Victoria’s Mack, who was injured against USA in Sacramento, California on June 21 playing for Canada’s Fifteens Team, is keen to return the field, having also missed the Commonwealth Games this past summer.
“Obviously I’m really excited to get back on the field in Dubai and South Africa after having surgery and five months of rehab,” said Mack from Langford, BC.
“I was disappointed not to be able to compete in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games and on the Gold Coast. We’re looking gain series points to climb the points ladder and it starts with two strong tournaments before the [Christmas] break,” added Mack.
Canada remain without playmaker Nathan Hirayama while prop forward Nanyak Dala has also earned a rest following November Test commitments. Following Adam Zaruba and Jack Smith in September on the Gold Coast, Vancouver’s Cejvanovic will also make his debut for Canada’s Sevens Team next weekend at the 50,000 seat 7He Stadium in Dubai.
“It’s a huge honour for me to be selected to Dubai and South Africa and I’m looking forward to the experience and contributing as much as I can at both tournaments,” said the Burnaby Lake RFC product.
Dubai will be the first tournament with Middleton at the coaching helm as he looks to build on the Shield victory in Australia, which came about following three narrow group defeats to the USA, Argentina and England. In the Middle East, Canada will face Wales, South Africa and Portugal on Day One.
This will be the first World Sevens Series event for almost two months as the season gets back in full swing on December 5, with back-to-back tournaments scheduled over eight days. The next leg following Dubai will see Port Elizabeth in South Africa act as host before it breaks again, this time until February 6 when it will be the turn of Wellington, New Zealand before the Series heads to Las Vegas, USA on February 13.
Canada, led by Captain John Moonlight, will therefore hope to head into the New Year on a high and give Middleton a positive two tournaments that can help build the foundations for a strong 2015 as the group looks to return to the circuit in style, with Cup qualification once again the objective.
Canada’s Roster for Dubai and Port Elizabeth – (Club, CRC Team) Hometown, Province
Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, 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
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
John Moonlight – Captain (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Jack Smith – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Sean White – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Players Unavailable due to injury or other commitments:
Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack)
Ciaran Hearn – (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
Nathan Hirayama – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Liam Underwood – (Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Senior Men’s Team Staff:
Liam Middleton – Head Coach
Ben Herring – Assistant Coach
Danielle Mah – Physiotherapist
Lorna Barry – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Calum Ramsay – Performance Analyst
Brian Hunter – Manager
Dubai Sevens Schedule December 5-6
All games streamed LIVE at www.irbsevens.com
Day One Schedule:
Canada vs. Wales at 09:22am local time (12:22am ET/9:22pm PT on December 4)
Canada vs. South Africa at 12:00pm local time (3:00am ET/0:00am PT)
Canada vs. Portugal at 3:46pm local time (6:46am ET/3:46am PT)
Day Two Schedule: TBD
Men’s HSBC Sevens World Series Dates 2014-15
Australia 11-12 October 2014
Dubai 5-6 December 2014
South Africa 13-14 December 2014
New Zealand 6-7 February 2015
USA 13-15 February 2015
Hong Kong 27-29 March 2015
Japan 4-5 April 2015
Scotland 9-10 May 2015
England 16-17 May 2015