A Look at the Canadian Development Academy (Pacific Pride) Players in Camp
Below are a list of players attending the Academy sessions, we've added our notes on the players, feel free to use the comments section to add more information. The group a player is assigned to is sometimes dictated by work and school schedule.
Due to COVID protocols they work with groups of 12 that concentrate on skills, physical development, speed and game awareness. 7s Group
RUSSELL Alex - was in the Pride group last year, from Montreal, also played for the successful Quebec team at the LA 7s. Has impressed observers playing wing and fullback for the Pride.
BOWEN D’Shawn - Played Pride last year, from Kingston, played club rugby with Westshore when he moved to BC. Outstanding outside speed, he scored one of the few tries against the Canada 7s side in the preseason 7s tournament last year held at Windsor Park.
ISHERWOOD Thomas - Another returning Pride player, from the national U20 class of 2019, from Alberta, he can play any of the back 3 positions in XVs plus has been playing #10 as well. Lots of 7s experience, was easily identifiable on the field via mullet (apparently now extinct).
NGONGO Anton - Former Pride and U20 player, had some injury problems in 2018-2019 but was on comeback trail pre-COVID. Played club rugby with CW, we had him picked to be on the national 7s radar back in 2017. He played Canada "A" against Argentina "A" where he came in to replace Dan Moor. He's from Victoria and went to Claremont HS.
PREVOST Brennig - Former Pride and U20 player, was a standout at UVic at fullback. Played on the Canada 7s team that won Silver at the PanAm games, losing to Argentina in the final. Also on that PanAm team from this group are Josh Thiel and Cooper Coats.
THIEL Jake - Jake played a few games for the Pride last year at #8 and was outstanding. A core member of the 7s team.
THIEL Josh - Josh going to MLR (San Diego) but also training with 7s group. Can play a number of backline positions effectively in XVs, centre, fullback and #10 - a versatile player.
COATS Cooper - One of the contenders for the starting scrum-half position on the national 7s team, he played his club rugby for JBAA at #10 when not with 7s team, looks like he's listed with Academy XV for this season. PRIDE 1 Group
NHANALA Cody - Pride openside flanker from Ontario. Attended the World School 7s in 2019 with the Canadian MisFits, they won the Shield final. He was on the 2020 Canada U20 team that didn't get to complete their run at the JWRT due to COVID.
GRIFFITHS Sion - Pride outside centre, from Mill Bay, went to Brentwood and played his club rugby with CW (previously Cowichan). Like Nhanala came up through the Canada U18 team. He represented BC at the Vegas 7s in the Boys High School Open Division in 2017.
BISS James - From the UK and formerly with the Saracens Academy, plays #10, he was part of the 2020 Canada U20 team.
BOWMAN Liam - Another from the Canada U20 class of 2020. He also came up through the Canada U18 program, from the Oakville Crusaders. He was on the World School 7s team along with Nhanala.
OLSEN Isaac - Pride inside centre from the Okanagan, he was on the national U20 track for 2020.
MCKINNON Bryce - Tighthead prop who was scouted from Westshore and moved to the Pride last year after Tyler Rowland was picked up by the Toronto Arrows.
CASEY Liam - A second row who received some commendations from Dr. Pat Parfrey on the U20 tour to Portugal in February 2020. He was listed as from Queen's University in 2020. He also came up through the Canada U18 team and was listed as from the Kuala Lumpur Saracens in 2017.
GALLAGHER Brock - A Canada U20 scrum-half from Alberta who played his club rugby with Westshore (formerly JBAA). Played with the Pride last year.
WONG Tyler - Blindside flanker/hooker from UVic via Carson Graham high school in Vancouver. He was on the Canada U20 long list in 2019.
NOTT Ollie (till October) - Openside flanker for Pride last year, Canada U20 player through UVic from Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. He has two caps for Canada in 2017.
BREEN Ciaran - Was named man of the match in the Canada U20 win over Portugal in February 2020. Came through the Canada U18 team as well, repping Cowichan RFC and Shawnigan Lake School from Mill Bay on the Island. He was on the Canada team that won the Bowl at the 2018 World School 7s in NZ and repped the BC Youth U16 team at the Vegas 7s in 2016. PRIDE 2 Group
SMITH Michael - Former Captain of the Canada U20 team and a stalwart of the recent UBC championship sides. From Earl Marriott Secondary School, he was part of the BC U19 national championship side in 2016 that included Thiel (Jake and Josh), Ngongo, Scher, Carson, Ergas, Hersant.
FLESCH Mason - A standout loose forward for the Pride last year, thought he would be on national or MLR radar by now. Canada U20 class of 2019. From Ontario played his club rugby with JBAA before joining Pride.
KOTZE Dewald - Pride hooker from Edmonton played his club rugby with the UBCOB Ravens in BC. Canada U20 class of 2017.
DUGUID Kaden - Younger brother of Tyler Duguid who earned a pro Academy spot in France with Montpellier. From Edmonton, he came through the Canada U19 program and played for JBAA before moving over to the Pride last season.
O’NEILL James - Another Canada U20 flanker from the class of 2018, along with Michael Smith were highly regarded with senior national team potential. Captain of the UVic team that won the 2019 University championship.
ATKINSON Chris - Tighthead prop who played club rugby for Burnaby in the BC Premier (former Surrey Beavers).
STEWART Crosby - Pride scrumhalf, previously UVic, from Oak Bay high school. Intitial winner of the Thunder's Phil Mack award for outstanding Indigenous athlete. Named to the 2017 Maple Leaf 7s team that toured South America.
DAVIDSON Thomas - Canada U20 class of 2017, Toronto Scottish via Chelsea, QC. Came up through Canada U18 program. Second row for Pride last season.
JAMES Austin - Son of Canada's famous second row, Mike James, younger brother of Quentin James who is at the Perpignan academy in France. Another Burnaby product, he joined the Pride last year.
BOSSI Jacob - A standout in the Canada U20 tour to Portugal earlier this year. From Langford, played rugby at Cowichan and went to Brentwood School. Plays hooker and came through the Canada U18 program. MLR Group
DEWITT Foster - Captain of the Westshore team last year. Very versatile and can play any forward position from front row to #8. From Courtenay on the North Island, was a reserve on the 2016 Canada U20 team. Studied under Curry Hitchborn at UBC 2014-2016. Came through the Canada U18 program.
HILDEBRAND Nik (Houston) - Tighthead for the Pride last year, part of the dominant Burnaby front row from previous years. Picked up by Houston of the MLR.
O’GORMAN Reegan (Austin) - Canada U20 class of 2016, from Vancouver Rowing Club, went to NZ to play for South Canterbury. Capped four times for Canada in 2017, the second row is son of Pat O'Gorman who played second row for Canterbury. Picked up by Austin of the MLR.
BAILLIE Kyle (New Orleans) - Capped 29 times for Canada, Baillie continues on for another season at NOLA in the MLR. Prior to the MLR he played his BC club rugby with Westshore, he also played professionally for London Scottish. One of the few pro rugby players from PEI.
ILNICKI Jake (Seattle) - The tighthead prop continues on with Seattle Seawolves this coming MLR season. 38 caps for Canada, he also has one cap in the English Premier with Newcastle Falcons in 2017.
NGAWATI Quinn (NYC) - A player with an interesting rugby history that includes Rugby Union and Rugby League. Canada U20, Pride, he went back to League last year with a chance to play at the top with the Toronto Wolfpack and Sonny Bill Williams. The Wolfpack folded under current management during the COVID crisis and it appears he's back training with the Academy. There's NYC beside his name but we're not speculating on that, we'll just leave that out there and wait for any announcements to come.
ROWLAND Tyler (ARROWS) - Canada U20 and Pride prop, brought into the Toronto Arrows last season. One of the upcoming props to keep an eye on.
VIKILANI Siaki (ARROWS) - Canada U20 and Pride #8, one of the Vikilani clan from Burnaby. Expecting big things from him in the future.
LOYD Kainoa - Capped 11 times for Canada, was formerly with the Arrows. Had been playing with JBAA in the BC Premier last season. At 26 still young enough to claim a national team spot on the wing as a regular this RWC cycle.
VIKILANI Taitusi - Older brother of Siaki, one of the powerful loose forwards from Burnaby, he also played for the Pride at #8 last season.
CAMPBELL Luke - 13 caps for Canada, born in Victoria and played club rugby for JBAA and UVic.