LANGFORD, BC – Canada’s Men’s Sevens interim coach Ben Herring has included two uncapped players, Adam Zaruba and Jack Smith, in his squad for the first leg of the 2014-15 IRB Men’s Sevens World Series on October 11-12 on the Gold Coast of Australia.
The duo will join experienced regulars such as Captain John Moonlight, Harry Jones, Sean Duke and Ciaran Hearn in the 12-man group for the World Series opener.
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After Australia, the teams will have an eight-week break before back-to-back legs in Dubai and South Africa, which will close their 2014 Sevens action.
Canada, who will be under the tutelage of Liam Middleton pending Canadian Immigration requirements, finished sixth on the table last term and Herring wants the group to back up that impressive performance and hit the ground running on October 11.
“We are really keen to start this competition on the right foot, building on the growth we have done to date,” he said. “Performing as a unit gives a great base (to build off) and hopefully we can carry that forward for the entire season.”
This will be the first time Herring has taken charge of Canada’s Sevens squad but it is an opportunity that excites him a great deal, despite selection alongside Kieran Crowley having been confirmed under something of an injury cloud.
“I consider it a privilege to take the squad on this tour [the opening leg of the series]. I am really excited to put all the work into games,” he said.
“We have a lot of experience in our team and I am excited to balance that out with a few new faces, which will bring some zip and energy into the squad,” he said, with Phil Mack, Nathan Hirayama, Sean White and Mike Scholz all ruled out of the opener due to respective injuries.
“We will play as fast as we can, tidy up a few areas we have identified during the off-season, and continue to play with the fierce heart and passion that is characteristic of all Canadian sides.”
Canada are pooled with Argentina, England and USA in what is a tough group as they look to kick on from 2013/14. But that clearly isn’t fazing the coach, with Herring setting a simple goal for his charges to achieve in the group stages.
“Finish first or second,” he joked, before focusing in on what they will need to do to be successful in Australia. “We need to look after the ball, if we can keep possession for extended periods we have the ability in our squad to score points and win games. That will be the process. If we are all on deck with that simply mantra, the performance and outcomes will be favourable.”
Canada squad for the Gold Coast Sevens – (Club, CRC Team) Hometown, Province
Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
Sean Duke – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond – (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Ciaran Hearn – (Castaway Wanderers /Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
John Moonlight – Captain (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Jack Smith – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Jake Webster – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
Jordan Wilson-Ross – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Alliston, ON
Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Unavailable due to Injury:
Senior Men’s Team Staff:
Ben Herring – Coach
Lorna Barry – Strength & Conditioning
Brian Hunter – Manager
Calum Ramsay – Performance Analyst
Danielle Mah – Physiotherapist
Gold Coast Sevens Schedule October 11-12
All games streamed LIVE at www.irbsevens.com
Day One Schedule:
Canada vs. USA at 10:12am local time (8:12pm ET/5:12pm PT on October 10)
Canada vs. Argentina at 1:13pm local time (11:13pm ET/8:13pm PT on October 10)
Canada vs. England at 4:29pm local time (2:29am ET/11:29pm PT on October 11/October 10)
Day Two Schedule: TBD
Men’s HSBC Sevens World Series Dates 2014-15
Australia 11-12 October 2014
Dubai 5-6 December 2014
South Africa 13-14 December 2014
New Zealand 6-7 February 2015
USA 13-15 February 2015
Hong Kong 27-29 March 2015
Japan 4-5 April 2015
Scotland 9-10 May 2015
England 16-17 May 2015
Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team is proudly sponsored by Sport Canada and Own the Podium.
Main Photo: Rugby Canada