RWC7s - Canadians name formidable squads
Ghislaine Landry of Canada celebrates victory in the womens cup final match between USA and Canada in the 2017 HSBC Sydney Sevens at Allianz Stadium on February 4, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The Canadians have named two formidable squads to compete at the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens (RWC7s) in San Francisco.

The John Tait coached Women’s side are ranked third in the world, with the Men’s side among the top 10 sides. The two teams announced will represent the North American nation, in a tournament that is ‘so close to home’ for players.

The three day tournament will be from the July 20-22 at the AT&T Park. 16 women’s and 24 men’s sides will compete across the three-days, all chasing the ultimate prize; both held currently by New Zealand.

Every game is a knockout, and all to play for in 2018 for all competing teams.

With the retirement of stalwarts Jen Kish and John Moonlight earlier this season, the teams representing Canada will be looking to new leaders. Ghislaine Landry (see main photo)will be senior member of the Women’s group, with the super-talented Nathan Hiriyama driving the Men’s group. Both have the experience to lead the Canucks to victory.

Landry leads Women’s RWC7s side

Landry, together with Britt Benn and Kayla Moleschi will spearhead their campaign. Youngsters Olivia Apps and Pam Buisa will be the ones to watch with Charity Williams.

Julia Greenshields will assist the leadership group with Ntasha Watcham-Roy. Sara Kaljuvee and Breanne Nicholas will be testing the defence of the opposition ‘all day long’.

This Canadian group are confident over the ball, use good structures that their head coach drills them on, and if the North American girls can gel in the opening matches, expect them to be well supported.

Jones leads Maple Leafs RWC7s challenge

Harry Jones, together with Hiriyama and ever reliable Justin Douglas will lead the Canucks onslaught. Big forwards like Mike Fualeifau and Admir Cejanovic will lay the platform, for Matt Mullins and Luke McCloskey to expose unorganized defences. They have a good side that have played together for sometime now.

Connor Braid and Lucas Hammond are unsung heroes who can change the game. Isaac Kaay and Pat Kay should be the ones to watch, along with Andrew Coe. Always tough to break, these men will want to hold up their flag proudly.

Last Word on Rugby; the Verdict

The Canadians have what it takes to defeat the best, and genuinely walk away with both titles. Self-belief and crowd support will be vital elements, as well as executing game plans and ‘turning opportunities into points’.

Landry will be pushing her girls to overcome their Aussie and Kiwi counterparts, to win the nations maiden RWC7s title. On the other hand, the Jones led side need to be more consistent. They need to ‘kill games off’ when needed to. No sitting back and watching, if they want to be successful.

The format is brand new – it is a literal ‘Pre-Round of 16 knockout’ for the men, before they can qualify for the final 16. Then it is a knockout; RWC Cup section, Challenge Trophy and the traditional Bowl. The women’s draw see’s them begin immediately with a ‘Round of 16’ knockout, before the top-tier Cup quarter-final and the Challenge Trophy separate into winner takes all matches.

Neither side can afford to hesitate, and the motivation of friends and family being so close to home, will be a huge boost for Canada and for the host nation too.

Women’s 2018 RWC7s fixtures

Men’s 2018 RWC7s fixtures

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“Main photo credit”
Embed from Getty Images

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