MIDDLETON ANNOUNCES TEAM FOR CATHAY PACIFIC HSBC HONG KONG SEVENS
Rugby Canada – Port Alberni’s Luke Bradley set to make Canada debut after being named to 13-man travelling squad for seventh leg of HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Hong Kong
LANGFORD, BC – Port Alberni’s Luke Bradley is set to make his HSBC Sevens Series debut next week in Hong Kong after being named to head coach Liam Middleton’s 13-man squad for the tournament.
Bradley, 20, would become the fourth player to make his series debut this season for Canada if he plays after Matt Mullins, Phil Berna and Luke McCloskey.
“It’s very exciting to make my debut,” Bradley said. “It’s what I’ve been waiting for and we’ll see how it goes out there.”
Bradley has been a standout performer on Canada’s men’s U20 team the past two seasons and has suited up for Canada’s sevens Maple Leafs team, most recently in Vancouver last month.
“He’s naturally talented both physically and as a natural ball player,” Middleton said. “He’s got a real hard edge about him, some grit, and he’s performed outstandingly well in our Maple Leaf tournaments. “If you want to play in the senior team you’ve got to perform for the Maple Leafs and that’s exactly what he’s done.”
Bradley will be joined in Hong Kong by captain John Moonlight, Berna, Admir Cejvanovic, Justin Douglas, Mike Fuailefau, Lucas Hammond, Nate Hirayama, Harry Jones, Pat Kay, Mullins, Conor Trainor and Sean White.
Canada has been drawn into Pool D where they will face perennial powerhouse Fiji as well as Wales and South Korea. Canada lost their only meeting of the season against Fiji in their first game of the season in Dubai and is 1-3 against Wales. South Korea has yet to play in the series this season.
Canada enters the Hong Kong Sevens after an incredible performance at the inaugural Canada Sevens where the team went 5-1 to claim the Bowl title in front of a soldout crowd at BC Place.
“I really feel confident in this group and where we’re heading as a team,” Middleton said. “We’re making slow progress but we know we’re building physically, technically as well as tactically and we know we’ll hit our straps at the right time.”
The Hong Kong Sevens, which takes place April 7-9 in Canada due to the time difference, can be seen in its entirety at www.worldrugby.org
Canada’s Roster for the Hong Kong Sevens (name, club, hometown):
Phil Berna – (UBC Thunderbirds), Vancouver, BC
Luke Bradley – (UVic), Port Alberni, BC
Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond – (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Nathan Hirayama – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) West Vancouver, BC
Pat Kay – (Unattached) Duncan, BC
John Moonlight – Captain (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Matt Mullins – (Queens University/Ontario Blues) Belleville, ON
Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Sean White – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Unavailable due to injury:
Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Sean Duke – (Unattached) Vancouver, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Mike Scholz – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Liam Underwood – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Adam Zaruba – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Senior Men’s Team Staff:
Liam Middleton – Head Coach
Lee Douglas – Assistant Coach
Brian Hunter – Manager
Danielle Mah – Physiotherapist
Calum Ramsay – Performance Analyst
Canada’s Day 1 Hong Kong Sevens Schedule:
Canada vs. Fiji – 8:06am ET/5:06am PT
Canada’s Day 2 Hong Kong Sevens Schedule:
Canada vs. Wales 12:02am ET/9:02pm PT
Canada vs. South Korea – 4:02am ET/1:02am PT
About Rugby Canada
Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of rugby union in Canada. Rugby Football 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.
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 with, Rugby Canada has put an emphasis on developing its junior programs. Our goal is to develop and train competitive teams for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland and 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
For more information, please contact:
Bryan Kelly, Rugby Canada
Manager, Communications and Media Relations