Canada join USA and NZ in naming Moscow squad

(IRB.COM) Tuesday 18 June 2013  
 
 Canada join USA and NZ in naming Moscow squad
Nathan Hirayama is an important player for Canada and lines up in Geraint John's squad in Moscow

Nanyak Dala will captain a strong Canada squad named by head coach Geraint John for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow on 28-30 June.

Canada join pool rivals New Zealand and USA in naming their final line-ups for the Russian showpiece.

Nanyak Dala will be joined by other Cannuck regulars Sean Duke, Ciaran Hearn, Nathan Hirayama, Harry Jones, Phil Mack, John Moonlight and Taylor Paris. Justin Douglas, Thyssen De Goede, Lucas Hammond and Mike Fuailefau are the remaining four, while Chauncey O'Toole, Jeff Hassler, Tyler Ardron and Conor Trainor not able to travel due to recuperation, contractual and injury issues.
 
"All the selected players have been on the circuit this year and are rewarded by going to the World Cup," said John, whose team lines up against New Zealand, USA and Georgia in pool play.

"We felt this was important as they have trained hard throughout the year, know the systems and have gained great success during the year and therefore deserve to be rewarded for their efforts and success.

Also considered were Sale Shark Phil MacKenzie, Cornish Pirate Matt Evans and Glasgow's DTH van der Merwe but John opted to stick with players who have given the squad success throughout the World Series, finishing in 12th place and retaining their core team status.

Hearn, Paris, Dala and Fuailefau are currently in Nagoya preparing for Canada's key Pacific Nations Cup fixture against Japan. They will link up with John and the squad after that encounter.

Canada: Nanyak Dala - (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack), Thyssen De Goede - (James Bay AA/BC Bears), Justin Douglas - (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears), Sean Duke - (UVic Vikes/BC Bears), Mike Fuailefau - (Castaway Wanderers RFC/BC Bears), Lucas Hammond - (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues), Ciaran Hearn - (Castaway Wanders RFC/Atlantic Rock), Nathan Hirayama - (UVic Vikes/BC Bears), Harry Jones - (Capilano RFC/BC Bears), Phil Mack - (Uvic Vikes/ BC Bears), John Moonlight - (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues), Taylor Paris - (SU Agen Lot-et-Garonne)

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DJ Forbes back for New Zealand

New Zealand Sevens coach, Sir Gordon Tietjens, named his final squad for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow on 28-30 June with captain DJ Forbes, Scott Curry and Sam Dickson all returning from injury, while there are also places for Bryce Heem, Waisake Naholo and David Raikuna.

“It’s been an intense few days and competition for places has been strong as I know all players are really keen on taking part in a World Cup," said Tietjens.

“There is something very special about the Cup which only comes around once every four years and playing in a country we have yet to visit as a team is also pretty exciting.”

Only three members of the team - Forbes, Tomasi Cama and Lote Raikabula – took part in the last World Cup in Dubai in 2009.

“On the Sevens World Series this year we have tested a group of young, exciting players so it’s really pleasing to include a number of them in the team. A World Cup is something completely different so they know they are in for a real test.

“The good thing is we have a core of players in DJ, Junior and Lote who know well the pressure cooker environment of a World Cup so that will certainly help the younger players cope with the challenges in Moscow.

“We really want to do well over there as we haven’t won the Cup since 2001. This is also the last World Cup before the Olympics so Moscow is also going to be very valuable in terms of our planning to ensure we are in the best possible shape for Rio in 2016.”

The All Blacks Sevens will assemble for a pre-departure camp in Mount Maunganui on Monday 17 June, before departing for Moscow on Friday 21 June. A full media schedule will be issued next week. 

NZ squad: Kurt Baker, Tomasi Cama, Scott Curry, Sam Dickson, DJ Forbes, Bryce Heem, Gillies Kaka, Tim Mikkelson, Waisake Naholo, Lote Raikabula, David Raikuna, Sherwin Stowers   

USA name squad for Moscow Mission

In the same pool, USA coach Alex Magleby has also named his squad of 12 and after their strong finish to the HSBC Sevens World Series, Magleby has opted to put his trust in proven players as they set out in Pool D against New Zealand, Canada and Georgia.
 
"This preliminary squad is well balanced with aerialists, kickers, and attack threats throughout - a good mixture of go-forward, movement, speed, and grinders," said Magleby, whose side will be in assembly at the Olympic Training Centre for another week before heading to Seattle for six days on June 9.

"I’m looking forward to seeing what we can produce over the next few weeks and to see if other athletes work their way in. The fellas have been busy at the OTC picking up from where they left off after the Series. We have a lot of hard yards ahead over the next three weeks, but we have been pleased with the foundation set so far."

Men’s Eagles Sevens: Carlin Isles, Nick Edwards, Andrew Durutalo, Shalom Suniula, Zach Test, Matt Hawkins, Folau Niua, Jack Halalilo, Maka Unufe, Mike Palefau, Colin Hawley, Brett Thompson

News of the other Pool D teams - Canada and Georgia - will follow.