September 10, 2021 (Langford, BC) – Following their quarter-final performance at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Head Coach Henry Paul has named a new-look squad for Canada’s return to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Vancouver (September 18-19). The tournament will be the first World Series event to be played since March, 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canadian co-captain Nathan Hirayama announced his retirement from the 7s program earlier this week. An icon of the sport, Hirayama retires as the third leading scorer in Sevens Series history with 1,859 points, and the all-time Canadian try leader with 147 scored in 79 Series tournament appearances. He was also selected as a flag bearer, alongside Miranda Ayim, for Team Canada at the opening ceremonies for the recent Tokyo Olympic Games.

Canada will also be without the services of Conor Trainor, who announced his retirement last month. Trainor was a dual-code stalwart for both the Men’s 7s and 15s programs and finished his 7s career with 287 points, ranking 16th all-time for Canada.

“First off, I want to recognize both Nathan and Conor for their contributions to Canada,” stated Head Coach Henry Paul. “This selection features some new and exciting players as we turn our attention to the shortened build-up to the 2024 Olympics in France.” Paul continued, “After the two events on the 2021 Series, we will look to bring together these new players with some returning veterans that are taking a deserved rest in order to be ready for the start of the full 2022 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai.”

Following the HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver, the team will head straight to Edmonton for the debut of a second HSBC Canada Sevens event at Commonwealth Stadium September 25-26.

Canada’s Men’s 7s Roster:

1. Phil Berna (Vancouver, BC) — Vancouver Rowing Club
2. Jake Thiel (Abbotsford, BC) — Abbotsford RFC
3. Matt Oworu (Calgary, AB) — Pacific Pride
4. Nicholas Allen (Vancouver, BC) — UBC Thunderbirds
5. Alex Russell (Chichester, UK) — McGill University
6. Ciaran Breen (Victoria, BC) — Cowichan RFC
7. Jack Carson (Victoria, BC) — UBC Thunderbirds
8. Matthew Percillier (Victoria, BC) — UBC Thunderbirds
9. Brennig Prevost (Victoria, BC) — Castaway Wanderers
10. Josiah Morra (Toronto, ON) — Toronto Saracens
11. Andrew Coe (Markham, ON) — Markham Irish RFC
12. Elias Ergas (Vancouver, BC) — UBC Thunderbirds
13. Anton Ngongo (Victoria, BC) — Castaway WanderersAbout Rugby Canada:Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of Rugby Union in Canada. They administer and operate Men’s and Women’s Senior and Junior National programs in both rugby XV’s and 7s, as well as govern the Club and community game for more than 30,000 registered participants from coast to coast in conjunction with ten Provincial Union members.

Rugby Canada is headquartered at the Al Charron National Training Centre in Langford, BC, with staff also working from Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. Rugby Canada business operations, programs and events are delivered nationwide, including the internationally recognized HSBC Canada Sevens annual tournaments.For more information, please contact: