Written by Press Release
Monday, 30 May 2011 23:14
| Canada's Crowley Looks for Next Step
Following his side’s first training session at Broadstreet RFC on Monday in preparation for the 2011 Churchill Cup – kicking off this Saturday – Rugby Canada Head Coach Kieran Crowley is determined to build on last year’s success, which saw Canada make it all the way to the Cup final against England Saxons.
“We’re looking forward to it. We’ve got a lot of work to do in six days before our first game but it’s an exciting time with this tournament and then looking a bit further down the track so the guys have got a lot to play for.
“The Churchill Cup is a great tournament. It’s been critical for the development of rugby in Canada because we don’t get the level of Internationals games that other countries get and we don’t get the chance to get together as a group because of the distances, so the Churchill Cup has always been a primary competition for Canada. We’re treating it within its own right.
“Our hopes for this tournament are that we can build on last year, when we got to our first ever final in the tournament against England Saxons. This year it’s a different set of people and a different tournament – we have Italy A first up on Saturday who will be a real challenge for us.
"From a coaching perspective, we want to build on the way we play the game and ultimately, get some of our players noticed by overseas clubs.”
Rugby Canada open the 2011 Churchill Cup this Saturday 4 June at Franklin’s Gardens when they face Italy A, kickoff 9:30am Eastern, 6:30am Pacific. Following that game, England Saxons will take on the USA at Noon Easter, 9am Pacific
Written by Press Release
Friday, 27 May 2011 23:03
| Canada Names U20 Side to Face Japan
Canada has kept its team unchanged for Saturday's match against Japan at the Junior World Rugby Trophy in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Canada lost its opening match to the host Georgians 38-9. A win against Japan will be vital to keeping hopes alive for a top of the table play-off encounter on June 5th.
Japan beat Zimbabwe to open the tournament, taking a decisive 37-24 win.
Team Captain Tyler Ardron says the team has not dwelled on the result vs Georgia as the Japan match looms.
"We were disappointed with our first result but with such a short turn around before our next game there was no time to dwell on it and we are looking forward to our next game against Japan," said Ardron.
The big No. 8, who hails from Brantford is wearing the captaincy well and says wearing the 'C' is not an extra chore for him.
"I dont think being captain has any extra weight heading into this game," he surmised. "We have a lot of very strong leaders who will all be looking to make a big contribution to the game."
Coach Mike Shelley feels that Japan has some key strengths, one of them being a strong mid-field.
"Japan convincingly beat Zimbabwe and with some very strong midfield runners," offered Shelley. "They have a well organized and committed group of players with some very strong individuals."
In terms of how Canada matches up with Japan Shelley says they rate fairly closely.
"From what I've seen the two teams could be quite evenly matched," says Shelley. "Japan play to their strengths well and we hope to be able to react to the speed they move the ball around."
In terms of the quick turnaround and what adjustments he has been able to make at training, there won't be a lot of changes to strategy, but more on execution.
"We have used the Japanese performance against Zimbabwe to adapt our game slightly this week but our main focus in training has been on accuracy and doing the basics well," he said.
Ardron concurs saying, "We dont need to make any major changes to our game plan, but we have been working on our accuracy to reduce the number of errors."
Canada Team vs Japan
1. Scott Macleod - Cowichan RFC (Cowichan, BC)
2. Casey Cavers - Cowichan RFC / University of Victoria (Cowichan, BC)
3. Graeme Mahar - Balmy Beach RFC / University of Guelph (Toronto, ON)
4. Scott MacDonald - Oshawa Vikings RFC (Oshawa, ON)
5. Cameron Pierce - Kelowna Crows / University of Victoria (Kelowna, BC)
6. Evan Olmstead - Capilano RFC (West Vancouver, BC)
7. Dustin Dobravsky - Shawnigan Lake School /University of Victoria (Regina, SK)
8. Tyler Ardron - Brantford RFC / McMaster University (Brantford, ON)
9. Lucien Nel - Cowichan RFC / University of Victoria (Cowichan, BC)
10. Carlin Hamstra - Cowichan RFC / University of British Columbia (Cowichan, BC)
11. Jeff Hassler - Foothills Lions RFC /University of Saskatchewan (Calgary, AB)
12. Patrick Parfrey - Swilers RFC / Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John's, NFLD)
13. Clayton Meeres - Truro College - England
14. Kurtis Appeldoorn - Abbotsford RFC / University of Fraser Valley (Abbottsford, BC)
15. Liam Underwood - Balmy Beach RFC / Queen's University (Toronto, ON)
16. Andrew Cho - Calgary Saracens RFC /University of Calgary (Calgary, AB)
17. Jordan Power - Dogs RFC / Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John's, NFLD)
18. Brandon Tennant - Montreal Irish, (Montreal, PQ) - for Graeme Mahar - 62 mins
19. Cameron Stones Ajax Wanderers RFC / McMaster University (Ajax, ON) for Scott MacDonald 54 mins
20. Matt Kelly - Toronto Scottish RFC / Queen's University (Toronto, ON)
21. Andrew Ferguson - Oakville Crusaders RFC /McMaster University (Oakville, ON) for Lucien Nel - 62 mins
22. Michael Fuailefau - Castaway Wanderers RFC / University of Victoria (Victoria, BC) for Carlin Hamstra 56 mins
Coach Mike Shelley
Manager Des Lynch
Graeme Moffat. Assistant coach
Andy Evans. S & C coach/ Video Analyst
Mike Cook. Therapist
Alastair Poulson. Team Doctor
Written by Pat Clifton
Thursday, 26 May 2011 11:44
| Crowley Adds Scholz, Gudgeon to Churchill Cup Squad
Canadian national senior men's coach Kieran Crowley has made some necessary changes to the 2011 Churchill Cup squad prior to the team's departure for England this weekend.
In the pack, an injury to Sean Michael Stephen and the uncertainty of Jamie Cudmore's availability means B.C.'s Mitch Gudgeon, the single-capped loose forward with sevens experience has been brought into the fold.
"He can play (as a loose forward) and a lock as well so we brought him in," Crowley said. "He's shown a lot of development."
Crowley said he expected the current sevens player to bring a value to the pack through his ability to move quickly around the pack and work well under the high ball.
"He's got very good aerial skills," he said. "He has a bit more height and brings a lot more mobility across the paddock."
While in the backs, Crowley has added Ontario's Mike Scholz.
"He certainly handles the physicality of the game," Crowley said of Sholz. "He's very good on his feet, he has the ability to beat people. He's worked hard to get stronger and faster."
Scholz toured with Canadian 15s team in 2009 before a lengthy break due to shoulder surgery. He returned to the pitch in January and is currently touring with the Canadian national sevens team, who are in Scotland ahead of this weekend's Edinburgh Sevens tournament.
Crowley believes both players will be a welcome addition to the squad and said expanding the talent pool in Rugby World Cup year is also a factor in decision making.
"You've always got to have a good player pool," he said. "These newer guys will put pressure on the incumbents and when you have that, the performance levels improve."
As the preliminary Rugby World Cup squad announcement must be made June 17, the Churchill Cup is the last kick at the can for players hoping to book their ticket to the big show.
"Obviously there's a few players that if they have reasonable performances, they will be going," Crowley said. "But the way I look at it, there's at least eight or nine spots that are still open."
The team leaves for England on May 29 .
Churchill Cup Schedule
Saturday June 4 - Franklin Gardens - Northampton
Canada vs Italy A
USA vs England Saxons
Wednesday June 8 - Esher RFC - Moseley
USA vs Tonga
Canada vs Russia
Sunday June 12 - Kingsholm - Gloucester
Russia vs Italy A
Tonga vs Saxons
Saturday June 18 - Sixways Stadium - Leeds
1st vs 1st
2nd vs 2nd
3rd vs 3rd
The Churchill Cup is a tournament jointly owned by the English Rugby Football Union, U.S.A. Rugby and Rugby Canada. Started in 2003 in Vancouver, B.C., the early tournament also featured a women's competition. Over the years it has been played in the U.S.A., Canada and England - with the three partner nations welcoming in a host of competitors from the New Zealand Maori, Ireland A, Russia and this year Italy A and Tonga as first-year attendees.
Canada is currently ranked 15th in the International Rugby Board rankings and following the Churchill Cup tournament has a pair of test matches against the U.S.A. (currently ranked 16th). The first, on August 6 at BMO Field in Toronto, will be the first time international rugby is played at the 20,000-seat soccer facility. That match is followed on August 13 with the return leg in Denver, Colorado. Both games will count toward World Ranking points prior to the Rugby World Cup in September.
Pat Riordan (British Columbia/White Rock, BC)
Ryan Hamilton (British Columbia/ Vancouver, BC)
Scott Franklin (Prairie Wolf Pack/Regina, SK)
Hubert Buydens (Prairie Wolf Pack/Regina, SK)
Andrew Tiedemann (Prairie Wolf Pack/St. Albert, AB)
Jason Marshall (British Columbia/Vancouver, BC)
Tom Dolezel (Prairie Wolf Pack/London, ON)
Tyler Hoston (Plymouth Albion/Vancouver, BC)
Brian Erichsen (British Columbia/Vancouver, BC)
Jamie Cudmore (Clermont Ferrand/Squamish, BC)
Mitch Gudgeon (BC Bears, Victoria, BC)
Jebb Sinclair (The Rock/Fredericton, NB)
Nanyak Dala (Prairie Wolf Pack/Saskatoon, SK)
Chauncey O'Toole (The Rock/Belle Isle, NB)
Aaron Carpenter (Plymouth Albion/Brantford, ON)
Sean White (British Columbia/Victoria, BC)
Ed Fairhurst (British Columbia, Victoria, BC)
Nathan Hirayama (British Columbia/Richmond, BC)
Ander Monro (Ontario Blues/Victoria, BC)
Ryan Smith (Prairie Wolf Pack/Calgary, AB)
Conor Trainor (British Columbia/Victoria, BC)
Phil Mackenzie (Esher RFC/Oakville, ON)
Mike Scholz (Ontario Blues, Oakville, ON)
Justin Mensah-Coker (British Columbia/Vancouver, BC)
Ciaran Hearn (The Rock/Conception Bay, NFLD)
James Pritchard (Bedford RFC, Parkes Australia)
Matt Evans (Newport Gwent Dragon/Duncan, BC)
Adam Kleeberger (Inj) - flanker
Stan McKeen (Exams) - flanker
DTH van der Merwe (Inj) - wing/centre
Sean Michael Stephen (Inj) - flanker
Written by Press Release
Friday, 13 May 2011 15:40
| Canada U20s Drop Wide-Open Warmup
After a high-scoring, wide open affair against the storied Derek Hyde Lay XV last Sunday, coach Mike Shelley and his U20 Canadian men's team take to the pitch on Friday afternoon for their second hit out of an 18 day training camp at Shawnigan Lake School. The team is preparing for the Junior World Rugby Trophy in Tbilisi, Georgia, and the game against the DHL team - made up of current and former national team fifteens and sevens players, saw the U20s fall by a 60-40 score line.
While he winces at the number of tries allowed, Shelley was also pleased with the offensive attack of his side, maintaining that the defensive lapses can be fixed.
"Our defensive line - the reason we let so many points in was it was a bit lax at times," he explained. "Sometimes one player would play out of position and that would leave a big hole. Then players like Ryan Smith and Conor Trainor in mid-field can exploit little spaces like that. It is pretty easily remedied and easily demonstrated in our video sessions."
He says the real key and reason for the pre-tournament matches, is to allow the systems they have been developing to stabilize and allow players to become comfortable with each other's abilities and with the style of play the former pro rugby player and Coach of the Prairie Wolf Pack is bringing in his first year leading the team.
"We have got a Canadian code, if you like as to how we are going to play," he says. "We will vary it. It's not a play book American Football style. It's a structure that they can work within and we can adjust it to anyone we are playing against.
"We will change strategies when we are playing but we are working on bringing in this structure and getting it together."
The match against the Atlantic U21 side - a team made up by players from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick, kicks off at 4:45 PM at Shawnigan Lake School at the Rugby Pavilion. Admission is free.
Canada U20 side vs Atlantic U21
1. Scott Macleod
2. Andrew Cho
3. Graeme Mahar
4. Evan Olmstead
5. Cameron Pierce
6. John Humphries
7. Dustin Dubrovsky
8. Tyler Ardron C
9. Lucien Nel
10. Liam Underwood
11. Jeff Hassler
12. Patrick Parfrey
13. Clayton Meeres
14. Josh Bair
15. Kurtis Appeldoorn
16. Casey Cavers
17. Jordan Power
18. Scott MacDonald
19. Cam Stones
20. Matt Kelly
21. Andrew Ferguson
22. Carlin Hamstra
23. Mike Fuailefau
24. Dylan Mundy
25. Patrick Kay