BC Rugby NextGen 7s squad member Jared Douglas has been selected for the Canadian team for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Hong Kong and Singapore tournaments, after a strong performance at the Vancouver Rugby Festival.
Douglas has been a standout in the BC program for the last two seasons with dominating performances in Las Vegas and Vancouver. Douglas’s combination of speed, size and ability to keep his feet in contact and extend plays has made the national selectors take notice.
The Abbotsford product will join his brother Justin Douglas on the Canadian side, who has been a star player on the circuit this season.
“Playing side by side with my brother is something I’ve been working towards for a while and I’m excited to see what we can do out there,” Douglas says.
“The NextGen program has helped me by testing myself against quality opposition and also getting direct exposure to the national team coach and selectors,” Douglas shares. “I’d like to thank head coach Aaron Frisby for the opportunity to play with the NextGen team and for all the hard work he does behind the scenes.”
“It’s very exciting news for the program,” NextGen Head Coach Aaron Frisby says, speaking on Douglas’s selection. “We are starting to see a clear pathway for BC players, who may not have attended a CIS [now U-Sports] school or were not identified through other systems, to make their way into the national program.
The NextGen program’s number one focus has always been to get players to the next level and with Jared gaining selection to the National Men’s side directly from our program is amazing.
Jared has been a huge part of our squad for the past two seasons and its always been a matter of time before he got the call up. It’s fantastic that Damian (McGrath) is taking notice of our local BC players.”
A total of three NextGen athletes have now been selected to the Canadian program with David Dinbondhu and Aaron Hersant playing and training with the Maple Leafs.
As for other BC players who may follow in Douglas’s footsteps, Frisby has a few names to keep an eye out for. “I think Kimi Vunituraga from Burnaby could be another player who could jump right into international sevens and not blink an eye. Also Gino Paolella from Burnaby and Kieran McAuley from James Bay are two players who should be in development for future national selection.”