Canada Sevens head coach Geraint John has named his 12-man playing roster for the Rugby World Cup in Moscow, which kicks-off on Friday, June 28.
The squad includes stalwarts such as Nanyak Dala (captain), Sean Duke, Ciaran Hearn, Nathan Hirayama, Harry Jones, Phil Mack, John Moonlight and Taylor Paris.
Justin Douglas, Thyssen De Goede of Courtenay, Lucas Hammond and Mike Fuailefau are the remaining four.
A member of the storied James Bay Athletic Association club in Victoria and former standout with the G.P. Vanier Towhees, de Goede lists a victory over Fiji at the U20 World Championships in 2008 as a highlight of his career.
The 24-year-old had a spectacular debut at the Hong Kong Sevens, playing in every game and scoring four tries en route to Canada winning the Bowl Championship. De Goede has also represented Canada at the IRB Wellington Sevens and tournaments in London and Scotland.
“All the selected players have been on the circuit this year and are rewarded by going to the World Cup. We felt this was important as they have trained hard throughout the year, know the systems and have gained great success during the year (Plate Finals and Bowl Finals) and therefore deserve to be rewarded for their efforts and success,” said John.
“Myself and Kieran (Crowley) have been working closely together … to ensure we take the strongest available and knowledgeable team to Russia,” said John.
It seems a long time since Canada confirmed their core team status for another term back in May and while the 2012/13 IRB World Sevens Series is over, involvement in the ongoing 15s schedule has meant many of the squad travelling to Russia require rest before training while others will join the group later than planned.
“(The Sevens squad) meet on June 20 at Fortius Health and Sport in Burnaby. We’ll stay there on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to train, allowing all coaches from B.C. including high schools, clubs and young players to come and watch,” added John, whose men find themselves in the same pool as New Zealand, USA and Georgia.
Wales are the holders of the World Cup Sevens crown after lifting the 2009 silverware in Dubai. And with all nations acknowledging the importance of a strong showing in terms of a performance pathway for the 2016 Olympics, the Moscow showpiece promises to offer a welcome taster of what is to come three years from now in Rio de Janeiro.
The tourney runs June 28 to 30. Canada plays New Zealand on Day One, then the USA and Georgia on Day Two. The top teams advance to the Day Three finals.
– Rugby Canada