Field for Canadian rugby sevens events diluted by pandemic concerns – Maple Ridge News



The pandemic has taken its toll on Canadian stops in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens series.

Only seven of the men’s base teams will compete in the HSBC Canada Sevens next week in Vancouver with New Zealand. Fiji, Australia, Argentina, Japan, France and Samoa are among the missing.

The Canadian men were drawn into a group with the United States, Chile and Germany.

The 12-team event, scheduled for September 18-19 at BC Place, marks the return of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Canada finished third in Vancouver in March 2020, the last tournament of the World Series before it was closed by the pandemic.

With limited participation due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions linked to the pandemic, an accompanying women’s competition will feature just four teams: Canada, Great Britain, the United States and Mexico.

On the men’s side, Pool A in Vancouver includes South Africa, Kenya, Spain and Mexico. Group B is made up of Great Britain, Ireland, Hong Kong and Jamaica. Canada is in Group C.

Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Jamaica and Mexico are guest teams.

The Mexican men’s and women’s teams were added late after France pulled out due to travel issues.

The women’s ‘Fast Four’ competition format will see teams compete before the top two decide for gold and the other two meet for third place.

The same teams will face off in Edmonton from September 25-26.

In the wake of the Tokyo Olympics, Canada is fielding young teams with many new faces.

On the men’s side, co-captain Nathan Hirayama and Conor Trainor have both retired.

“This selection includes exciting new players as we turn our attention to the shorter preparation for the 2024 Olympics in France,” Canada’s men’s coach Henry Paul said in a statement. “Following the two (Canadian) 2021 series events, we will be looking to reunite these new players with returning veterans who are taking a well-earned rest to be ready for the start of the entire HSBC World Rugby Sevens 2022 series. in Dubai. “

Former Canada captain Kelly Russell will coach the women’s seven team at the Canadian events.

Participation in Vancouver will be capped at 50 percent of the capacity of BC Place’s lower bowls, making approximately 13,500 tickets available. Last year, a crowd of 39,533 – the largest one-day crowd in Canadian rugby history – saw the Canadian men step onto the podium.

The crowd will be larger outside at Edmonton Commonwealth Stadium. Rugby Canada is providing half of the bottom pit with a capacity of 32,000 and could increase that figure to 60 percent if demand warrants.

World Rugby previously said six men’s events and four women’s events are scheduled in the last four months of 2021. Instead, the two Canadian events will be a mini-season.

The 2021 stopovers previously announced in Singapore (October 29-30) and Cape Town (December 10-12) will not take place. The Hong Kong Sevens, scheduled for November 5-7, were canceled last month.

The 2022 season will begin with consecutive combination events in Dubai. The first, from November 26 to 27, will be held behind closed doors while the second, from December 3 to 4, will see fans in attendance at Sevens Stadium.

The full 2022 schedule will be announced later this month, with ‘alternative hosting options’ being considered to replace events in Australia and New Zealand in January.

World Rugby says that due to the pandemic shortened season there will be no relegation of the 2021 playoffs and the results will not count as seeds for future events.

Next year, rugby sevens will also be at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (July 29-31) and the Rugby Sevens World Cup in Cape Town (September 9-11) after the World Series.

Last season, the men took part in six of the ten tournaments scheduled and the women in five of the eight before the schedule came to a standstill. A women’s event in Langford, British Columbia, scheduled for early May last year, was one of the canceled tournaments.

Canadian Lists


Phil Berna, Vancouver, Vancouver Rowing Club; Jake Thiel, Abbotsford, BC, Abbotsford RFC; Matt Oworu, Calgary, Pacific Pride; Nicholas Allen, Vancouver, UBC Thunderbirds; Alex Russell, Chichester, England, McGill University; Ciaran Breen, Victoria, Cowichan RFC; Jack Carson, Victoria, UBC Thunderbirds; Matthew Percillier, Victoria, UBC Thunderbirds; Brennig Prevost, Victoria, Castaway Wanderers; Josiah Morra, Toronto, Saracens of Toronto; Andrew Coe, Markham, Ont., Markham Irish RFC; Elias Ergas, Vancouver, UBC Thunderbirds; Anton Ngongo, Victoria, Castaway Wanderers.


Olivia Apps, Lindsay, Ont., Lindsay RFC; Fancy Bermudez-Chavez, Edmonton, Nor’Wester Athletic Association; Emma Chown, Barrie, Ont., Aurora Barbarians; Alysha Corrigan, Charlottetown, CRFC / Saracens; Chloe Daniels, Sutton, Ont .; RC Academy / Queen’s University; Olivia De Couvreur, Ottawa, Irish Ottawa; Renée Gonzalez, Toronto, UVIC; Asia Hogan-Rochester, Toronto, alone; Breanne Nicholas, Blenheim, Ont., London St. Georges; Arielle Normandin-Leclerc, Montreal, Town of Mont-Royal Rugby; Ella O’Regan, Victoria, Castaway Wanderers / UVIC; Témitope Ogunjimi, Calgary, Calgary Hornets RFC; Sabrina Poulin, Saint-George de Beauce, Quebec, Town of Mount-Royal Rugby.

—Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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