Erich Eichhorn (ISN) –The red carpet was rolled out and the paparazzi present as Team Canada strolled down the walkway amongst cheering rugby followers as they opened the start of Las Vegas 7”s leg of the Men’s World Rugby Sevens Cup with their competitors and fans during the “Parade of Nations “ festivities Thursday night on Freemont Ave in Las Vegas.
Canada’s Men’s sevens rugby team was in good spirits Thursday night posing for ISN during opening ceremonies in Las Vegas for the USA Rugby 7’s tournament – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
In a celebration that brings the world together in one venue for a night song and dance, all Canadian rugby fans are surely hopeful that the Canadian National team can dance there way into the championship round against a tough field of international play. Team Canada was on hand to celebrate the opening with throngs of Canadian supporters that made their way to the desert to cheer on Canada’s rugby elite.
Rugby fans filled Freemont Ave. in Las Vegas for the 5th stop in the HSBC World Rugby Series being played at Sam Boyd Stadium this weekend – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
A symbolic Samoan warrior entertains the crowd to cheer on the Samoan national team taking the stage – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The USA Rugby Sevens Las Vegas tournament is one of nine stops on the HSBC Rugby World Series, with this tournament being the midpoint in the series. This coming weekend teams will have more to loose than a championship. Las Vegas has huge implications as teams vie to qualify for the Olympics in Rio in 2016. This stop will certainly push all teams to put their best effort forward.
No shortage of enthusiam from fans cheering on their national teams as they walk the red carpet to open the tournament – Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The RHINO mascot and a USA Rugby Sevens mascot pose for ISN after “cutting a rug” together in the VIP zone – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Canada, as most teams experience in the any sport, will take to the pitch at Sam Boyd Stadium Friday afternoon with a team that is nursing a tough round of injuries. With six regulars sidelined, it has opened the door for some young and upcoming to make an appearance on the world stage. Not making the tournament due to injuries are Nathan Hiryama, Phil Mack, Nanyak Dala, Ciaran Hearn, and Justin Douglas.
Team Canada poses with their young flag bearers as they walk the block-long red carpet – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Mike Scholz, originally reported to be missing as well, has now recovered well enough to take his spot, religating James Bay Association stalwart flyer Jordan Wilson-Ross to the Elite 7’s Maple Leaf team playing in the Las Vegas Invitational Sevens tourney running concurrently next door to Sam Boyd Stadium. Sean Duke is a healthy scratch for the weekend, excused from team play to take medical school entrance exams.
Rugby USA dance team was on hand to provide on stage dance entertainment and pose with fans – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Canada will start the tournament Friday drawing the “B” Pool against Kenya in their opening game, followed by England in an early evening test. Canada, ranked 14th in the world after a Shield finish over Samoa in Wellington one week ago, will have to be on form in both matches, with both competitors currently holding twelfth and fifth place respectively in the world standings going into this weekend.
These fans came from Scotland to cheer on their national team holding proudly their countries colors ( and a beer ) – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
With the Olympics ever the sole focus, Team Canada will rely heavily on the forward support of Admir Cejvanovic, Mike Fuailefua, Conor Trainor and team captain John Moonlight to push the ball forward. Pace and creativity will be essential from the first pass to make a mark this weekend.
Canada salutes their fans from the stage later to be used for DJ musical entertainment provided for the street party that followed the opening ceremonies – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
All eyes will be on Canada, who will look to equal or better their last year’s third place finish at the same tournament, in a weekend that opened wide some international eyes to Canada’s talented squad. A repeat will be a difficult task, but not impossible if the card fall the way all hope.
Members from USA’s National Sevens team acknowledge the partisan crowd – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Canada will play Kenya at 5:50pm PST and England at 8:24 PST Friday night. Argentina will take on Canada the scheduled Saturday at 11:52 am in a late morning test.
Come to ISN all Team Canada’s coverage and more !