TEN ONTARIO BLUES, ELEVEN ONTARIANS NAMED TO CANADA’S 2016 AMERICAS RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP SQUAD
Rugby Ontario – (TORONTO, ON) – Canada’s Interim Senior Men’s Head Coach Francois Ratier has named a 28-man long list squad for the 2016 Americas Rugby Championship (ARC), with 10 Ontario Blues and 11 Ontarians included in the roster.
Ontario’s senior provincial men’s rugby team will see 10 of its current players participate in the tournament: Ray Barkwill (Niagara Wasps), Rob Brouwer (Lindsay), Alistair Clark (Bay Street Pigs), Paul Ciulini (Aurora Barbarians), Andrew Ferguson (Oakville Crusaders), Eric Howard (Brantford Harlequins), Phil Mackenzie (Oakville Crusaders), Dan Moor (Balmy Beach), Lucas Rumball (Balmy Beach), and Djustice Sears-Duru (Oakville Crusaders).
Liam Chisholm (Kenora, Ont.) has also been selected to Canada’s ARC long list.
“Rugby Ontario is extremely proud that 10 of our provincial athletes will be representing Canada at the Americas Rugby Championship,” said David Butcher, Rugby Ontario Manager of High Performance. “All 10 athletes have spent considerable time honing their skills in the Ontario Blues system, and the fact that the Blues have produced seven uncapped players for the ARC showcases the strength of our programming and the talent pool in Ontario. We’re looking forward to fully supporting our Blues, along with all of the national side, when they take to the pitch in February and March.”
The squad, which will be captained by veteran prop Hubert Buydens, will begin training camp on Jan. 31 at Shawnigan Lake before facing Uruguay in their ARC opener on Feb. 6 at Westhills Stadium in Langford, BC.
The squad features 18 uncapped players who are joined by capped players that include the Ontario trio of Barkwill, Mackenzie, and Sears-Duru, with all three players having represented Canada at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Canada’s 18 uncapped players – including eight Ontarians – are a product of the Canadian Rugby Championship, the highest domestic competition in Canada that has run annually since 2009. Fourteen members of the squad are 25 or younger.
“The ARC will provide us with an opportunity to build on our Rugby World Cup campaign and continue to develop more talent for our senior men’s program as these test matches are an important first step to preparing our next generation of athletes,” said Gareth Rees, Rugby Canada National Program Manager. “These players have an incredible opportunity to showcase their skills in five high level test matches and we’re looking forward to renewing old rivalries and establishing new ones during the ARC.”
The ARC, which also features Argentina, Brazil, Chile, USA, and Uruguay, will provide Canada with five additional annual test matches. In addition to their opener against Uruguay, Canada will also host Brazil on Feb. 20 while playing their other three matches away from home.
Tickets for both of Canada’s home games at Westhills Stadium are available now and can be purchased at http://events.rugbycanada.ca. Both games kick off at 7pm ET / 4pm PT and will be broadcast LIVE online.
Canada’s 2016 Americas Rugby Championship Long List:
Kyle Baillie – (St. Albert RFC/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI
Ray Barkwill – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Gradyn Bowd – (UVIC Vikes/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Rob Brouwer – (Lindsay/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
Hubert Buydens – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Liam Chisholm – (UVIC Vikes) Kenora, ON
Alistair Clark – (Bay Street Pigs/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Paul Ciulini – (Aurora Barbarians/Ontario Blues) Vaughan, ON
Andrew Ferguson – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
Michael Hamson – (Halifax Tars/Atlantic Rock) Halifax, NS
Eric Howard – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Ottawa, ON
Jake Ilnicki – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
Brett Johnson – (Truro Saints/Atlantic Rock) Truro, NS
Ryan Kotlewski – (Calgary Saints/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Phil Mackenzie – (Sale Sharks/Ontario Blues), Oakville, ON
Duncan Maguire – (St. Albert RFCC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Alex Mascott – (UBC Thunderbirds/BC Bears) Langley, BC
Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Callum Morrison – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Evan Olmstead – (Parramatta Two Blues/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC
Clay Panga – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Pat Parfrey – (Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
Jacob Robinson – (St. Albert RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach/Ontario Blues) Scarborough, ON
Mozac Samson – (Calgary Saints/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Djustice Sears-Duru – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Americas Rugby Championship | 2016 Competition Calendar
(Home v. Away)
Round 1 – Weekend of Feb. 6-7, 2016
Canada v Uruguay
USA v Argentina
Chile v Brazil
Round 2 – Weekend of Feb. 13-14, 2016
USA v Canada
Argentina v Chile
Brazil v Uruguay
Round 3 – Weekend of Feb. 20-21, 2016
Canada v Brazil
USA v Chile
Uruguay v Argentina
Round 4 – Weekend of Feb. 27-28, 2016
Argentina v Canada
Brazil v USA
Chile v Uruguay
Round 5 – Weekend of March 5-6, 2016
Chile v Canada
Uruguay v USA
Brazil v Argentina
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 65 rugby clubs 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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