Overhauled Canadian males’s, girls’s rugby 7s squads open World Series season in Dubai

The Canadian girls’s rugby sevens crew heads into the 2022 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series season with an overhauled roster and new interim coach.

Meanwhile, with 10 members of this system having retired in current months and a handful of others sidelined by harm, the boys’s squad will be studying because it goes.

Both groups are set to open a new World Series season on Friday in Dubai behind closed doorways on the Sevens Stadium. It’s the primary of back-to-back occasions there. The second occasion, Dec. 3-4, will welcome spectators again.

The Canadian girls are in a pool with Fiji, Ireland, Britain and Russia. The Canadian males will play in a pool that includes Olympic champion Fiji, Australia and France.

Live protection of rugby sevens motion from Dubai is out there on CBCSports.ca and the CBC Sports app beginning Thursday at 11:40 p.m. ET. 

It has been 663 days because the final girls’s Sevens Series motion, with New Zealand successful the Sydney Sevens on Feb. 2, 2020.

Due to the pandemic, the 2021 girls’s season was cancelled though the Canadian girls took half in two mini-events — in Vancouver and Edmonton in September — with a number of top groups unable to participate due to journey restrictions.

As it’s, New Zealand’s males’s and ladies’s groups, the 2020 Series champions, and the Samoan males will not take part in Dubai. The Canadian girls completed runner-up on the final two occasions in Dubai.

New starting for ladies

The solely returnees from the Canadian Olympic crew on the Dubai roster are Elissa Alarie, Olivia Apps, Pam Buisa and Breanne Nicholas, who captains the squad. Irish-born Jack Hanratty takes over as head coach.

Those 4 plus Emma Chown have a mixed 51 World Series tournaments below their belt. The other eight will be making their debut on the circuit.

Rugby Canada says Olympic veterans Charity Williams, Keyara Wardley, Julia Greenshields and Karen Paquin had been unavailable for choice, both via harm or other causes.

The Canadian girls will be with out not too long ago retired and former captain Ghislaine Landry, pictured above. (File/The Associated Press/File)

Buisa, Gonzalez and Paquin had been a part of the current 15s tour to Britain.

Former captain Ghislaine Landry and fellow Olympians Britt Benn, Bianca Farella, Kaili Lukan and Kayla Molesch have both retired or are taking time away from rugby.

Dubai represents a new starting for the ladies’s sevens program, within the wake of a proper grievance below Rugby Canada’s bullying and harassment policy and a disappointing ninth-place end on the Tokyo Olympics.

Rugby Canada mentioned while an impartial review into the grievance concluded “the conduct described in the complaint reflected the experiences of the 37 NSW7s [national senior women’s sevens] athletes,” it was not behaviour that fell throughout the then-policy’s definition of harassment or bullying.

The precise nature of the allegations towards former coach John Tait has not been made public. Tait referred to as them “unfounded’ but stepped down. He is now technical director of B.C. Rugby.

“We’ve actually been specializing in simply giving a love again to the sport,” said Hanratty. “And type of re-starting.”

“The one factor I’ll say is I believe the athletes have been actually open,” he added. “With new coaches, there is a sure factor of belief that must be constructed up. Obviously they have to know us and our philosophies and our types of teaching and we have to know them as athletes and the way they discover the sport.”

‘Everything to gain’ for men

Men’s coach Henry Paul is no stranger to Dubai, having played, coached and lived there. 

“It’s a extremely younger, thrilling crew,” said the New Zealand-born Paul, who represented both New Zealand and England [via his grandfather] on the international scene.

“It’s a crew that’s going to make errors. But the great factor is they appear to study rapidly from these errors.”

There are plenty of holes to fill.

Co-captains Nate Hirayama and Harry Jones as well as Justin Douglas, Connor Braid, Mike Fuailefau, Lucas Hammond, Isaac Kay, Matt Mullins, Conor Trainor and Adam Zaruba have all retired. 

Canada’s Jake Thiel, centre, attempts to run the ball during a 33-19 win over Spain in HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series action in Vancouver on Sunday. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Captain Phil Berna, Pat Kay, Brennig Prevost, Anton Ngongo, Sion Griffiths, Matt Oworu, David Richard and Alex Russell are injured. Berna and Kay were both part of the team that finished eighth at the Tokyo Olympics.

Two promising young players, Matt Percillier and Jack Carson, have returned to university.

“I’m exited to see them play,” Paul said of his young squad. “We’ve obtained nothing to lose going to Dubai. We’ve [got] every little thing to achieve, when it comes to expertise and publicity for these guys.”

Canada’s 13-man roster has been to a combined 65 World Series events. Jake Thiel (19 events), Josiah Morra (16) and Andrew Coe (15) account for 50 of those.

Thiel, Coe and Theo Sauder (five events) are the only Canadian Olympians in Dubai.

Four members of the Dubai squad will be making their World Series debut. Three others have been to just one tournament, while another has been to two.

The Canadians scrimmaged against the U.S. prior to flying to Dubai.

“We made a ton of errors but it surely was such an excellent studying curve for a bunch of the younger guys. [The Americans] had a ton of Olympians taking part in,” said Paul. “It wasn’t fairly from our aspect of issues however when it comes to progress and studying, it was big main into [Dubai].”

There will be a new scoring system for the 2022 season as a result of pandemic, with not all groups in a position to participate in each occasion. The greatest seven males’s outcomes and 4 girls’s outcomes for every crew will contribute to their closing Series standings with the variety of contributing outcomes to extend if a substitute occasion for Hong Kong is added.

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