Following their quarter-final performance at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Head Coach Henry Paul has named a new-look squad for Canada’s return in Vancouver. 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 recognise 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.”
Canada’s Men’s 7s Roster:
Phil Berna (Vancouver, BC) — Vancouver Rowing Club
Jake Thiel (Abbotsford, BC) — Abbotsford RFC
Matt Oworu (Calgary, AB) — Pacific Pride
Nicholas Allen (Vancouver, BC) — UBC Thunderbirds
Alex Russell (Chichester, UK) — McGill University
Ciaran Breen (Victoria, BC) — Cowichan RFC
Jack Carson (Victoria, BC) — UBC Thunderbirds
Matthew Percillier (Victoria, BC) — UBC Thunderbirds
Brennig Prevost (Victoria, BC) — Castaway Wanderers
Josiah Morra (Toronto, ON) — Toronto Saracens
Andrew Coe (Markham, ON) — Markham Irish RFC
Elias Ergas (Vancouver, BC) — UBC Thunderbirds
Anton Ngongo (Victoria, BC) — Castaway Wanderers