Head Coach Damian McGrath Sets Pathway for Canadian Youth and Canadian Coaches: Team Named for Commonwealth Youth Games
posted July 4 2017
[ed. comments below]
It's important when head coaches come into a new environment that they analyze the situation, take stock of what's available to them and make the necessary structural changes to enhance their success down the road. Damian McGrath the national men's sevens coach has done just that.
With less than a full season under his belt he's introduced the Junior Maple Leaf program and assigned two Canadian coaches to run the program. Robin MacDowell (West) and Fred Asselin (East) will be the program coaches. Both are former Canada Sevens players and aspire to further their coaching careers. As Damian remarked, "Both these guys have demonstrated a work ethic and an enthusiasm for the game that stands out. This is a great opportunity for them to work at International level with quality players. It is our intention to work together as a group of coaches to have a way of playing that is uniform through the age ranges but that still allows the individuals involved to input their own ideas."
Also part of that coaching team are senior assistant coach Lee Douglas and Andrew Hall the senior Maple Leaf coach. The senior Maple Leafs look towards tournaments in Colorado, Dubai, South America, Vancouver and Hong Kong this season. The senior Maple Leaf program specifically looks at players who could make the step up to the World Series.
The junior Maple Leaf program starts off with the Commonwealth Youth Games later this month followed by other tournaments such as the World Schools 7's (Auckland), Youth Olympic Qualifiers (Vegas) and hopefully the Youth Olympics (Argentina).
Robin MacDowell will coach the team at the Commonwealth Youth Games with senior team assistant coach, Lee Douglas, providing an advisory role while also evaluating the young players progress.
The men's sevens program looks to be in good hands and are on a positive path to develop both players and coaches. from Rugby Canada
A 12-man team has been selected for the Youth Commonwealth Games later this month in Nassau, Bahamas.
It’ll be the first time Canada goes for gold at the Youth Commonwealth Games after rugby sevens was only included in the games’ schedule for the first time in 2015 where Canada’s men didn’t compete. Canada’s women won a silver medal that year.
"We are very excited about the once in a lifetime opportunity to compete at the Youth Commonwealth Games," Douglas said. "It's a great platform for some of the best up and coming Canadian players to showcase their talents against other strong commonwealth rugby countries such as England and Fiji.
"The team we have selected has been identified over the last year as potential sevens players of the future and being able to bring them together and play internationally is key to their development in becoming future players for Canada.
"We are extremely excited to see them pull on the jersey, represent their country and play some great rugby."
The squad, which will be coached by Canada’s men’s sevens assistant coach Lee Douglas, features six Ontarians in Kaleb Delaney, Avery Oitomen, EJ Rerri, David Richards, Kevin Vertkas and Brock Webster. BC’s Corben Bowen, Jarvis Dashkewytch, Lachlan Kratz and Reece Tudor-Jones are joined by Alberta’s Marcus Douglas and Austin Pinnell.
The sevens competition runs from July 19-21. Streaming details, as well as pools and kickoff times, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Canada’s Men’s Youth Commonwealth Games Roster:
Corben Bowen (British Columbia)
Jarvis Dashkewytch (British Columbia)
Kaleb Delaney (Ontario)
Marcus Douglas (Alberta)
Lachlan Kratz (British Columbia)
Austin Pinnell (Alberta)
Avery Oitomen (Ontario)
EJ Rerri (Ontario)
David Richards (Ontario)
Reece Tudor-Jones (British Columbia)
Kevin Vertkas (Ontario)
Brock Webster (Ontario)