James Bay's Jeff Hassler is tackled by Burnaby's Joe Dolesau during Canadian Direct Insurance Premiere rugby action at MacDonald Park in 2012.

Phil Mack leads Canada into Rugby World Cup Sevens; Ospreys sign pair of James Bay players

Former national men’s rugby sevens team captain Phil Mack joins the squad for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens



Former national men’s rugby sevens team captain Phil Mack will join the squad for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in Moscow, June 28 to 30.

The Oak Bay High grad and current UVic Vikes player is one of three Vikes named to the roster of 12 along with Sean Duke and Nathan Hirayama. Castaway Wanderers hometown product Mike Fuailefau will also make the trip.

Other players who’ve played in Victoria are James Bay’s Thyseen de Goede, John Moonlight and Taylor Paris, and longtime Castaway Wanderers imports Nanyak Dala and Ciaran Hearn.

Mack started at scrum half for Canada (ranked No. 13) in 15s play on Saturday, a 40-14 loss to the No. 8-ranked Irish in Toronto.

Ospreys sign Canadian imports Tyler Ardron and Jeff Hassler

Welsh club Ospreys of the elite rugby union Rabobank Pro 12 in the United Kingdom have signed a pair of 21-year-old Canadian ruggers, Tyler Ardron and Jeff Hassler.

Both Hassler, of Okotoks, Alta., and Ardron, of Lakefield, Ont., have suited up for the James Bay Athletic Association in B.C.’s CDI Premier Rugby league. Rabobank Pro 12 teams may field two non-European players on the pitch at anytime, making the signing a major one for Rugby Canada.

Ardron is a blindside flanker who is also capable of playing in the second row or at No. 8, standing 1.94m tall and weighing 110 kgs. Ardron wasrecently named Canada’s top rugby 15s players of the year as he captained Canada ‘A’ to second place in the 2012 IRB Americas Rugby Championship against ‘A’ teams from USA and Argentina, as well as the Uruguayan national team.

Hassler’s eight tries stand second all time in the Junior World Rugby Trophy statistics. The powerful winger has a golden opportunity to fill in a position previously held by one of the world’s greatest wingers of all time, Shane Williams.

Hassler and Ardron have made regular appearances for Canada in the IRB Sevens Series over the last year but neither will partake in the RWC Sevens in Moscow later this month. Ardron is a starter for Canada in the current Pacific Nations Cup 15s tournament and will likely start against Japan on Wednesday (June 19).

RWC Sevens – June 28-30Day One: Canada v New Zealand at 15:44 local timeDay Two: Canada v USA at 10:06 local timeCanada v Georgia at 13:46 local timeDay Three: TBD

Canada’s RWC Sevens roster – (Club, CRC Team) HometownNanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SKThyssen De Goede – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BCJustin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BCSean Duke – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BCMike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers RFC/BC Bears) Victoria, BCLucas Hammond – (Toronto Nomads/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ONCiaran Hearn – (Castaway Wanders RFC/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay, NLNathan Hirayama – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BCHarry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) West Vancouver, BCPhil Mack – (Uvic Vikes/ BC Bears) Victoria, BCJohn Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ONTaylor Paris – (SU Agen Lot-et-Garonne) Barrie, ON

 

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