Story : Pat Parfrey for Rugby Canada
São José dos Campos, Brazil (July 8, 2019) – Rugby Canada’s U20 men will open play for the World Rugby XV’s Trophy in Brazil on Tuesday July 9th in their quest for a spot on the World Championship XV’s U20 stage.
Canada will kick off against Tonga Tuesday, Portugal July 13, Hong Kong July 17 and the final game for ranking will be on July 21. The other pool comprises Japan,Uruguay, Kenya and Brazil. The winner of the Trophy will replace Scotland in the World U20 Championships.
The 26 man squad for Brazil is similar to the one that beat the USA twice in June ,with changes being the addition of Lockie Kratz returned from injury and Jack Carson at scrum half. The latter brings the number of Carson cousins selected to 4 , with David at hooker, Frank at second row, and Nick at number 8.
Seven Returnees from last year’s World Trophy include Tyler Rowland ( tight head), Guerschom Mukendi ( prop), Reid Davis (second row), Tyler Duguid (second row), Quentin James (blind-side flanker), Will Percillier (scrum-half and captain), and Gabe Casey (outside centre),
Thirteen Under-agers are available to Canada next year: Josh Tweed (loose-head prop), Michael McCarthy and Jared Augustin (hookers), Duguid, Will Matthews (open-side flanker), Nick and Jack Carson, Siaki Vikalani (flanker), Brock Webster and Thomas Isherwood (outside half), Kratz, Jarvis Dashquewytch and David Richard (wing) .
Seven players are 20 this year and playing in their first World Trophy. They include Stefan Zuliani at loose head, David and Frank Carson, Mason Flesch at flanker, Quinn Ngawati at inside centre, Antoine de la Fontaine on the wing and Avery Oiteman at full back.
The regional mix is substantial with 12 players from BC (Tweed, 4 Carsons, Davis, James, Vikalani,Percillier, Ngawati ,Kratz ,Dashquewych), 9 from Ontario (Zuliani,Augustin, Rowland, Mukendi, Flesch, Webster, Casey, Richard and Oiteman), 2 from Alberta (Duguid and Isherwood) , 2 from Quebec (Matthews and De la Fontaine), and one from Newfoundland (McCarthy).
Based on their play in the Qualifiers players to watch include the power scrummager Rowland , rugged work horse Duguid, skillful second row Frank Carson, athletic number 8 Nick Carson, tackling machine Matthews, sweet passing and running scrumhalf Percillier, driving centre Ngawati, and flying fullback Oiteman.
‘’We are better prepared than last year where we lost in the last few minutes against Uruguay and Portugal,” commented head coach Jeff Williams. “The first game against Tonga, who beat Samoa to qualify, is our major focus especially as the Island teams are so good. Last year’s Trophy winners Fiji were excellent and have stayed in the World Championship for 2020.”
Of interest World Rugby have agreed that all 26 squad members can dress for a game but a maximum of 8 substitutions can be made . This player friendly rule should make it easier for all squad members to play in the tournament.
The management team comprises Gethin Watts ( team leader), Williams, Adam Roberts (Assistant Coach), Mylan Clairmont (S&C Coach), Kiyomi Thompson and Maxime Charron (therapists) , Shannon Houston (doctor) , and Pat Parfrey (manager) .
The improved preparation for 2019 has been facilitated by the sponsorship of Shawnigan Lake School and funds raised by the Support Group ( David Robertson, Andrew Purdey, Mike Holmes, Bill Webb, Mark Wyatt and Pat Parfrey).
Fans can watch every match LIVE on World Rugby’s Facebook page.
Antoine de la Fontaine, Sherbrooke Abenakis, QC
Avery Oiteman, Toronto Arrows, Ontario
Brock Webster, Oshawa Vikings, Ontario
David Carson, UBC, BC
David Richard, Mississauga Blues, Ontario
Frank Carson, UBC, BC
Gabriel Casey, U Victoria, Ontario
Guerschom Mukendi, Stoney Creek RFC, Ontario
Jack Carson, Castaway Wanderers, BC
Jared Augustin, Queens U, Ontario
Jarvis Dashquewytch, U Victoria, BC
Josh Tweed, UBC, BC.
Lachlan Kratz, U Victoria, BC
Mason Flesch, James Bay AA, Ontario
Michael McCarthy, Swilers RFC, Newfoundland
Nick Carson, U Victoria, BC
Quentin James, Stade Francais, BC
Quinn Ngawati, Westshore RFC, BC
Reid Davis, James Bay AA, BC
Siaki Vikalani, Burnaby RFC, BC
Stefan Zuliani, Queens U, Ontario
Thomas Isherwood, Westshore RFC, Alberta
Tyler Duguid, Edmonton Nor’westers, Alberta
Tyler Rowland, UBC, Ontario
Will Matthews, Beaconsfield RFC, QC
Will Percillier, Stade Francais, BC -Captain
Canada vs Tonga
11am ET/ 8am PT
Canada vs Portugal
4pm ET/ 1pm PT
Canada vs Hong Kong
11am ET/ 8am PT
U20 Trophy Finals