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Rugby Ontario- (TORONTO, ON) – Ontario Blues head coach Chris Silverthorn has named his starting lineup for Sunday’s preseason clash with provincial rivals Alberta Selects at Edmonton’s Ellerslie Park.

While a number of Blues veterans are set to feature in the senior provincial team’s first match of 2016, Ontario’s squad is also highlighted by its ranks of up-and-coming talent; Silverthorn has selected nine under-23 players to face their Albertan opponents.

In the front row, experienced Lindsay prop Rob Brouwer will be joined by Brantford hooker Eric Howard and London St. George’s prop Tom Dolezel; the latter is making his return to the provincial fold after recovering from a long-term arm injury.

The second row will be manned by veteran Balmy Beach man Hank McQueen and young national standout Paul Ciulini, while the back row includes former Canada U20 captain Lucas Rumball at Number 8, alongside experienced flankers Mike Sheppard and Alistair Clark. Clark has also been handed captaincy duties for the match.

In the backs, Crusaders’ Andrew Ferguson and Stoney Creek’s Mitch Richardson will start at scrumhalf and flyhalf, respectively. Crusaders’ Dan West and Balmy Beach’s Dan Moor will start as centres, while the back three will be made up of Guelph Redcoats’ Brandon McLeod, Oshawa Vikings’ Trenton Cooper, and Markham Irish’s John Sheridan.

Ontario will have a range of experience throughout their forwards reinforcements: World Cup prop Doug Wooldridge, along with the young duo of Markham Irish hooker Brendan Blaikie and London St. George’s prop Armin Gurdic. London St. George’s lock Dillon Goos and Crusaders’ back row man Andrew Wilson round out the list of potential forward substitutes.

Backs substitutes include Mississauga Blues’ Kainoa Lloyd, London St. George’s Josh Campbell, and Oshawa Vikings’ Matt Alexander. Crusaders’ Dan Mathie is a late scratch due to an upper-body injury, and has been replaced on the matchday roster by Lloyd.

Ten internationally capped players will dress for the Blues this Sunday. 

Four players – Cooper, McLeod, Richardson and Sheridan – are all set to receive their first starts for Ontario, while Gurdic, McLeod and Richardson will be making their senior team debuts.

Kickoff for the preseason match is set for 1 p.m. MDT / 3 p.m. EDT.

Ontario Blues Squad vs. Alberta Selects – Name (Club)

1. Rob Brouwer (Lindsay)

2. Eric Howard (Brantford Harlequins) 

3. Tom Dolezel (London St. George’s) 

4. Hank McQueen (Balmy Beach) 

5. Paul Ciulini (Aurora Barbarians)

6. Mike Sheppard (Brampton Beavers) 

7. Alistair Clark (Bay Street)

8. Lucas Rumball (Balmy Beach) 

9. Andrew Ferguson (Crusaders) 

10. Mitch Richardson (Stoney Creek) 

11. Brandon McLeod (Guelph Redcoats) 

12. Dan West (Crusaders) 

13. Dan Moor (Balmy Beach) 

14. Trenton Cooper (Oshawa Vikings) 

15. John Sheridan (Markham Irish) 

16. Brendan Blaikie (Markham Irish) 

17. Armin Gurdic (London St. George’s)

18. Doug Wooldridge (Lindsay) 

19. Dillon Goos (London St. George’s) 

20. Andrew Wilson (Crusaders)
21. Kainoa Lloyd (Mississauga Blues)

22. Josh Campbell (London St. George’s) 

23. Matt Alexander (Oshawa Vikings)

Ontario Blues Staff

Chris Silverthorn – Head Coach

Paul Connelly – Assistant Coach

Mark Winokur – Manager

Rodin Lozada – Performance Analyst

Chris Kelly – Athletic Therapist

Ontario Blues 2016 Match Schedule:

Alberta Selects v. Ontario Blues*
Sunday, May 22, 2016
1 p.m. MDT; 3 p.m. EDT
Ellerslie Park, Edmonton, Alta.

Ontario Blues v. Atlantic Rock

Saturday, June 4, 2016

5 p.m. EDT

Sherwood Forest Park, Burlington, Ont.

Ontario Blues v. England Counties*
Saturday, June 11, 2016
3:30 p.m. EDT
Fletcher’s Fields, Markham, Ont.

Atlantic Rock v. Ontario Blues
Saturday, July 2, 2016
3 p.m. NDT; 1:30 p.m. EDT
Swilers RFC, St. John’s, N.L.
 

 

Ontario Blues v. Prairie Wolf Pack
Thursday, July 21, 2016
6:30 p.m. EDT
Fletcher’s Fields, Markham, Ont.
 

 

Ontario Blues v. British Columbia Bears
Sunday, July 24, 2016
3:30 p.m. EDT
Fletcher’s Fields, Markham, Ont.

* indicates non-CRC match

About Rugby Ontario:

Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to promote, govern, and develop rugby at all levels in a safe, affordable and enjoyable environment within the province of Ontario.

There are more than 10,000 Rugby Ontario members registered with 63 rugby clubs and four branch unions located across the province, with participation in age grades ranging from minor (age 6+) to masters (age 35+) in male and female divisions.

For more information, visit http://www.rugbyontario.com/

About Ontario Blues:

The Ontario Blues program is the high performance representative program for male rugby players in Ontario. It is designed to develop and showcase male athletes for Canadian national teams.

The senior team represents Ontario in the annual Canadian Rugby Championship, and has earned four national titles, having won the competition’s MacTier Cup annually from 2011-2014.

The under-19 team represents Ontario at the annual under-19 men’s Canadian Rugby Championship, and is designed to develop and showcase male athletes for the under-20 national team, as well as serving as a feeder program for the Ontario Blues senior team.

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For more information, please contact: 

Brock Smith
Communications Coordinator
Rugby Ontario
(647) 560-4790 x106
bsmith@rugbyontario.com

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