LANGFORD, BC — Canada’s men’s U20 head coach Jeff Williams has named a 28-man team for this months Junior World Rugby Trophy qualifying series against the USA.

Canada will face the USA on June 13 and June 17 in Edmonton with the aggregate winner of the series heading to the Junior World Rugby Trophy in Uruguay in August.

“We have good depth down the spine of the team with the players that have played high levels across the country and overseas,” Williams said.  “The boys have good character and understand the importance of the qualifiers and what it means to Canadian rugby.”

The team features three returnees from last year’s squad in George Barton, Matt Beukeboom and Connor Sampson.

However, the team features a wealth of international age-grade and senior experience as Thomas Davidson, Liam Doll, Elias Ergas, Aaron Hersant, Fraser Hurst, Will Kelly, Aidan McMullan, Jamie McNaughton, Jack McRogers, Liam Murray, Steven Ng, Quinn Ngawati, Anton Ngongo, James O’Neill, William McDougall-Percillier, Brennig Prevost, Jake Thiel and Josh Thiel have all previously suited up for Canada.

Also included is Cole Keith who has two test caps to his name after making his debut during the 2017 Americas Rugby Championship. Beukeboom also has three test caps.

“Overall, there is a lot of experience on this years team,” Williams said. “We have had great buy in and the boys have good rugby IQ so they have been extremely respective to new ideas and concepts. However, rugby is simple, we need to outwork the opposition and play with passion and intensity and keep the game simple.”

Last year’s qualifier was a one game playoff that the USA won 19-18 on an 80th minute penalty in Texas. In 2015, Canada reached the tournament final but were beaten 49-24 by Georgia. The winner of the Junior World Rugby Trophy qualifies for the 2018 World Rugby U20 Championship.

Admission to the first game on June 13 is free, however, a ticket must be purchased for Canada’s senior men’s test match against Romania on June 17 to gain entry for the second game of the U20 qualifier. Tickets are available by clicking here.

Canada’s Men’s U20 Training Camp Roster (Name, club, hometown):

George Barton (Clermont) Duncan, BC

Matt Beukeboom (Section Paloise) Lindsay, ON

Lachlan Currie (Bond University) Gold Coast, Australia

Thomas Davidson (Toronto Scottish RFC), Chelsea, QC

Cole Davis (Canberra Royals) Calgary, AB

Liam Doll (UBC Thunderbirds) North Vancouver, BC

Elias Ergas (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC

Nicholas Frost (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC

Aaron Hersant (UVic Vikes) Victoria, BC

Fraser Hurst (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC

Cole Keith (James Bay AA) Sussex, NB

Will Kelly (Brantford Harlequins) Ancaster, ON

Dewald Kotze (UBCOB Ravens) Edmonton, AB

Aidan McCleary (Westshore RFC) Burlington, ON

Aidan McMullan (Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC), Montreal, QC

Jamie McNaughton Carleton Place, ON

Jack McRogers (Aurora Barbarians) Newmarket, ON

Liam Murray (Langley) Langley, BC

Steven Ng (Capilano RFC) Ottawa, ON

Quinn Ngawati (Westshore RFC) Victoria, BC

Anton Ngongo (Castaway Wanderers) Victoria, BC

James O’Neill (UVic Vikes) Cochrane, AB

Carson O’Sullivan (UVic Vikes) Buena Vista, SK

William McDougall-Percillier (Cowichan Piggies) Mill Bay, Victoria

Brennig Prevost (UVic Vikes) Victoria, BC

Connor Sampson (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC

Jake Thiel (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC

Josh Thiel (Bishop Burton College) Abbotsford, BC

Canada’s Men’s U20 Schedule:

Canada vs. USA — June 13 — Ellerslie Rugby Park, 9pm ET, 6pm PT

Canada vs. USA — June 17 — Ellerslie Rugby Park, 2pm ET/11am PT