Rugby Canada’s Senior 7s Men’s team players Jared Douglas and Jake Thiel, along with team manager Brian Hunter, dropped in on their old alma mater at the Langley School District’s Rugby 7s Tournament Thursday.
The three men, here for the HSBC World Sevens Series in Vancouver, watched the young up-and-coming high school players in the fast-pitched games in the cold and mud of D.W. Poppy Secondary’s sports fields. They also spoke briefly to the crowd during the awards presentations.
Both Thiel and Hunter have long histories in Aldergrove, as Hunter was a long-time rugby coach at Aldergrove Secondary School before moving into management at Rugby Canada. Hunter coached Thiel at Aldergrove Secondary up until grade 10 when Thiel moved to Robert Bateman Secondary in Abbotsford, where Douglas was also a rugby player.
Both Douglas and Thiel are now based in Victoria with the national team.
Douglas made his debut with Canada’s Seniors 7s team in Hong Kong last year and he went on to help the team win at Singapore.
Canada’s biggest rugby event returns to BC Place this weekend as the HSBC World Sevens Series arrives in Vancouver.
Sixteen nations from around the globe will once again battle it out for a chance to lift the coveted Canada Sevens trophy.
Vancouver serves as the sixth stop on this season’s World Series, which has seen five different nations win cup titles so far. The Blitzboks from South Africa currently lead the standings on 92 points, followed by New Zealand and Fiji.
2018 has been the year of the home team with both Australia and USA claiming titles on their home turf. Canada will be looking to add their name to this list when they take the field in front of a potential record home crowd at BC Place this weekend.
The 11th placed Canadians come off the back of a heart-breaking Challenge Trophy runner-up finish in Las Vegas but will take many positives from their victories over the likes of Scotland, Wales and Spain.
Harry Jones once again captains Canada with influential playmaker, Nate Hirayama, and in-form Justin Douglas looking to do the damage out wide. Nate Hirayama currently leads the way for most points scored this season and will be full of confidence after another world-class performance in Las Vegas.
Canada has been drawn alongside USA, Australia and Uruguay in Pool A and will feature in the seventh match of day 1 at 11:42 a.m. against the Green and Gold from down under.
Canada’s next game that day is against the USA at 3:36 p.m. and then it’s Canada vs. Uruguay at 6:46 p.m.
The action kicks off on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. when former champions, New Zealand, face Scotland in pool D.
Tickets for this weekend are available but selling out fast: see http://www.canadasevens.com/tickets/
The games will be broadcasted live on http://www.cbc.ca/sports