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Rugby Canada – Canada’s Men’s Rugby Sevens Team can advance to second top-eight finish with win over France on Saturday after loss to South Africa and Wales victory at Sam Boyd Stadium

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Canada’s Men’s Rugby Sevens Team rebounded from defeat to South Africa to beat Wales on Day 1 of the HSBC USA Sevens at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

Canada will face France on Day 2 in its final pool game a 6:46pm ET/3:46pm PT. In Las Vegas, John Moonlight became the most capped Canadian of all-time on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series circuit with 53 appearances, passing Phil Mack’s previous record.

What John Moonlight said:

“It’s an honour to pull on the jersey every time; I really enjoy playing for Canada. 

“The boys fought hard despite being down to six men for four minutes of the game against Wales. We grinded our way back and it paid dividends with the win. Tomorrow we need to come out with the same intensity we did against South Africa in the first half and keep possession and I think we’ll have a great day,” said Moonlight.

What Coach Damian McGrath said:

“We probably played our best rugby in the first game against South Africa and I was really disappointed with the way that turned out, because we played so well. We played poorly in the second game, but we got the result because we showed resilient and with self believe. To play for four minutes of the game with only six players was brilliant.

“Well (John Moonlight) is an icon in the game in Canada and he’s a rallying point for the players on the field, you saw what happened when he came back on for the last 80-metre play. He galvanizes people, leads by example and I wouldn’t play without him!

“(Tomorrow) we need to replicate the quality of rugby we produced in the first game with the resiliency of the second game and I think we’ll come home,” said McGrath.




In what was always going to be a tough opening game, Canada took a lead into the break but would eventually fall to the series leaders. John Moonlight gave Canada an early 7-0 lead before the Blitzboks got back into the game through a Ruhan Nel try.


However, it was all South Africa in the second half as two tries from Rosko Specman and a try from Branco du Preez, playing in his 50th series event, gave South Africa the victory.




Mike Fuailefau’s try on the last play of the game gave Canada a crucial win over Wales. Nathan Hirayama and Justin Douglas had first half tries for Canada, either side of a Owen Jenkins’ try for Wales, for a 12-7 lead at the break.


After a Sam Cross try, Phil Berna restored Canada’s lead to 17-14. A Luke Morgan try looked to have given Wales a win but Canada were saved as Fuailefau crashed over to secure a much needed win.

Canada’s Men’s Sevens Squad for USA Sevens (Name, club, hometown):

Phil Berna – (UBC Thunderbirds) Vancouver, BC

Luke Bradley, UVic Vikes/Port Alberni Black Sheep (Port Alberni, BC)

Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC

Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC

Lucas Hammond – (UVIC Vikes) Toronto, ON

Nathan Hirayama – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC

Harry Jones – Captain (Capilano RFC) Vancouver, BC

Caleb Jordan – (Montreal Wanderers) Montreal, QC

Isaac Kaay  – (UVic Vikes) Kamloops, BC

Pat Kay – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Duncan, BC

Luke McCloskey – (Castaway Wanderers) Victoria, BC

John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON

Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

Unavailable for Selection:

Matt Mullins – (Queen’s University/Ontario Blues) Belleville, ON

Liam Underwood – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON

Day 1 Schedule:

Canada 7-26 South Africa 

Canada 24-21 Wales 

Day 2 Schedule:

Canada vs. France — 6:46pm ET/3:46pm PT

About Rugby Canada

Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of rugby union in Canada.  Rugby Union has a long history in Canada dating back to its initial appearance in the 1860s.  Since 1974, Rugby Canada has been a permanent fixture on the global rugby scene, including trips to each of the eight Men’s Rugby World Cups and seven Women’s Rugby World Cups. As a regular on the Men’s and Women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Canada continues to climb the world rankings and challenge the dominant rugby nations in both versions of the game.  Canada’s Women’s Rugby Sevens Team also made history in 2016, capturing the first-ever Bronze Medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Rugby Canada has also put a renewed emphasis on developing its junior programs to support the growth of rugby at the grass-roots level and to ensure there are elite programs for prospering young rugby players to become involved.  Our goal is to develop and train competitive teams for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland, the 2018 Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, the 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan and 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.



Bryan Kelly  I  Manager, Communications and Media Relations  I  Rugby Canada  I  3024 Glen Lake Road  I Langford, British Columbia, Canada V9B 4B4  I  Tel. 250.418.8998 ext. 314  I  Fax 250.386.3810  I Cell. 250.216.5272 | I