MCGRATH NAMES TEAM FOR LONDON AND PARIS

(Via Rugby Canada)

LANGFORD, BC – Canada head coach Damian McGrath has named his 13-man roster for the final two legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in London, England and Paris, France.

Nate Hirayama, the leading points scorer on the HSBC World Sevens Series this season, will captain Canada as the team look to regain the form that saw them finish last year’s London event in third place.

With injuries plaguing the team throughout the season, head coach Damian McGrath is relieved to have a full-strength squad available for the all-important final two stops on the World Series.

“Fortunately, we’re almost as close to full strength as we could be. It is the same group that finished Singapore with the only change being that Connor Braid has come back in and Tevaughn Campbell has returned to CFL,” said McGrath.

“We’re still without Liam Underwood and Phil Berna who are long-term injuries and Jake Thiel is also unavailable due to injury,” added McGrath.

Canada currently find themselves in 11th place on the World Series standings and know that the London and Paris stops will be important to acquiring crucial World Series points, as well as much needed confidence ahead of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco at the end of July.

“I’m a bit more confident on this particular leg as the 13 players we’re taking are more or less 100 percent fit, which is a luxury we haven’t had up until now. I’m hoping that this alone will give us a positive boost,” added McGrath.

“We’re not that far away, we’ve had some great performances, but consistency has been our issue. If we can put consistent performances together I’m confident we can have a good finish in these last two legs and head into the Rugby World Cup Sevens as contenders.

Canada kick off pool play against Samoa on Saturday at 4:30am ET/1:30am PT.
Follow the action LIVE on http://www.cbc.ca/sports.

Roster:
Luke Bradley – Port Alberni Black Sheep (Port Alberni, BC)
Connor Braid – James Bay AA (Victoria, BC)
Andrew Coe – Markham Irish (Toronto, ON)
Admir Cejvanovic – Burnaby Lake RFC (Burnaby, BC)
Justin Douglas – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)
Mike Fuailefau – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
Lucas Hammond – Toronto Nomads (Toronto, ON)
Nathan Hirayama, Captain – Unattached (Richmond, BC)
Harry Jones – Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
Isaac Kaay – UVIC Vikes (Kamloops, BC)
Pat Kay – Castaway Wanderers (Duncan, BC)
Luke McCloskey – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
Matt Mullins – Queen’s University (Belleville, ON)

Unavailable:
Phil Berna
Jake Thiel
Liam Underwood

London Sevens Schedule on Saturday, June 2:
Canada vs. Samoa – 4:30am ET/1:30am PT
Canada vs. South Africa – 7:58am ET/4:58am PT
Canada vs. Russia – 10:42am ET/7:42am PT

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Standings:

Fiji – 145
South Africa – 141
New Zealand – 120
Australia – 108
USA – 93
Kenya – 93
Argentina – 92
England – 88
Samoa – 55
Scotland – 51
Canada – 51
France – 47
Spain – 45
Wales – 35
Russia – 20