The Canada Men’s 7s team for the upcoming HSBC Sevens World Series in the United Kingdom has been announced.
Injuries and the unavailability of players have had an effect on squad selection, but Head Coach Geraint John will travel with to the UK with a nucleus of 13 talented operators that will provide a genuine threat to the top sides at the London and Edinburgh Sevens.
John announced the squad to the players at the final selection on Friday morning and the squad will train together for three days in Victoria, Vancouver Island, before flying to London on Saturday. All players included in the squad have been involved on the sevens circuit before and nine were in action at the Hong Kong Sevens when Canada defeated France, Wales and Japan on their way to capturing the Bowl Final.
Captain Phil Mack will look to add to his career total of 610 career points during the final two events of the sevens series. Victoria (Thyssen de Goede, Mitch Gudgeon, Mack and Nathan Hirayama) and Vancouver (Sean Duke, Harry Jones, Sean Ferguson and Justin Mensah-Coker) are well represented with four players from each region selected in the squad for the London Sevens. John Moonlight and Mike Scholz make up the Ontario contingent while Ciaran Hearn from Newfoundland will look to build on his burgeoning reputation. Luke Cudmore, from Squamish, BC, had an outstanding season with North Wales and will relish the opportunity to return to the United Kingdom to join the push for silverware.
Canada plays Australia, Samoa on Scotlant at Twickenham and then will play on day two based on over all pool standings.
Hearn and Hirayama will take a step back from sevens action after the London Sevens and Mensah Coker will be given a more prominent role when the competition gets underway in Edinburgh (May 28th and 29th). Robert Wilson, who plays with The Rock in Newfoundland, joins the squad for the Edinburgh Sevens.
Canada faces Australia for a second straight week, as well as South Africa and Kenya before getting seeded for the second day of the competition.
Several players that have competed on the sevens circuit in the past have not been included for the tour as they will be included in the Churchill Cup, which takes place in June. Players such as Adam Kleeberger, Nanyak Dala and DTH van der Merwe are nursing injuries and Neil Meechan is not available due to work commitments. Under-18 players were not considered due to school, exams and provincial high school competitions. Priority has also been given to the Under-20 world championships so these players are not in the sevens mix.
The 13 players will gather in Victoria on Wednesday for three days of training before they fly out to the United Kingdom. The London Sevens kick off on May 21.
London Sevens squad:
John Moonlight (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) (Pickering, ON)
Thyssen de Goede (James Bay AA, British Columbia) (Victoria, BC)
Mitch Gudgeon (James Bay AA, British Columbia) (Victoria, BC)
Luke Cudmore (Capilano RFC, British Columbia) (Squamish, BC)
Kyle Gilmour (Calgary Hornets, Prairie Wolf Pack,) (Calgary, AB)
Mike Sholz (Castaway Wanderers, Ontario Blues) (Oakville, ON)
Phil Mack – Captain (University of Victoria, British Columbia) (Victoria, BC)
Nathan Hirayama (University of Victoria, British Columbia) (Victoria, BC)
Ciaran Hearn(Castaway Wanderers, The Rock) (Conception Bay, Nfld)
Sean Duke (University of Victoria, British Columbia) (Vancouver, BC)
Harry Jones (University of British Columbia, British Columbia) (Vancouver, BC)
Sean Ferguson (University of Victoria, British Columbia) (Vancouver, BC)
Justin Mensah-Coker (Meraloma, British Columbia) (Vancouver, BC)