SMUS rugby product adds speed to Canada

James Bay's Thyssen de Goede was selected for the second straight year to the Canadian national sevens team.

James Bay's Thyssen de Goede was selected for the second straight year to the Canadian national sevens team.

(Above is footage of Canada at last year’s IRB Sevens stop in New Zealand, not to be confused with Beau Parker’s story below. Video features Nathan Hirayama, Phil Mack and John Moonlight )

Local rugby fans may have wondered where Beau Parker disappeared to.

His resurface is a big one.

The 2009 graduate of St. Michaels University School is one of five UVic Vikes named to the Canadian Sevens rugby team to play in Wellington, New Zealand Feb. 4-5.

It’s the first international selection for the lightning quick Parker. The 19 year old turned heads at a Canadian sevens camp nearly two years ago with his speed. As a senior at SMUS, Parker was on many a rugby fan’s radar, but injuries kept him out for much of his rookie season with the UVic Vikes last year.

At long last Parker is healthy and ready to go.

“It’ll be interesting to see how Parker does on now that he’s finally healthy,” said Doug Tate, coach of the Vikes rugby program.

Canada will play in five of the eight International Rugby Board Sevens series in 2011, having already missed the first two in Dubai and South Africa.

Tate worked for years with Canada’s sevens team and says it can take a half dozen games to get a feel for playing an IRB Sevens game. At 5-foot-9, Parker isn’t a big player, but big enough to be effective at the B.C. premier level and on the IRB Sevens’ tour, Tate said.

“He’s quick, there’s no doubt he’s been selected for his speed, but his fitness is there too.

“A lot of players his size do well at IRB Sevens.”

Canada will go from New Zealand to Las Vegas for the only North American IRB Sevens stop on Feb. 12.

UVic’s Nathan Hirayama, a veteran on the tournament despite only being 22 years old, will captain the team in Phil Mack’s absence (hand injury).

The roster is dotted with regulars from the James Bay, UVic Vikes and Castaway-Wanderers rugby clubs. Joining Parker and Hirayma from UVic are Adam Kleeberger, Sean Duke and Keaton Styles.

Players chosen from B.C. premier rosters include James Bay’s Thyssen de Goede, John Moonlight and another 19-year-old, Taylor Paris. The Castaway-Wanderers are represented by second row Chauncey O’Toole and fullback/winger Ciaran Hearn. Justin Mensah-Coker, Conor Trainor and Kyle Gilmour are also in the mix for the two tournaments.

Canada’s Sevens roster

• Thyssen de Goede  (James Bay) • John Moonlight  (James Bay) • Conor Trainor (BC Bears) • Ciaran Hearn (Castaway-Wanderers) • Chauncey O’Toole  (Castaway-Wanderers) • Taylor Paris  (James Bay) • Beau Parker (UVic Vikes) • Adam Kleeberger (UVic Vikes) • Nathan Hirayama (UVic Vikes) • Sean Duke (UVic Vikes) • Keaton Styles (UVic Vikes) • Justin Mensah-Coker (Meralomas) • Kyle Gilmour (Prairie Wolf Pack)