Dubai 7s - November 2021

November 27 2021

Elissa Alarie - RWC 2017

Canada Men Finish 11th of 12, Women Finish 8th of 10 in Dubai 7s Opening Tournament

This is a transition year for both the men's and women's programs as new players are tested out on the international circuit. The danger for Canada is that if the quality is too low they could be relegated from the series the following year.

The men finished just ahead of Japan in this tournament. New Zealand and Samoa will enter in the new year and Great Britain will be disbanded after Dubai with the points assigned to the individual nations, England, Wales and Scotland. This complicates the standings as it currently shows Canada in 11th place tied with the absent Samoa but 13th on the list with Japan, Scotland and Wales below them. It will likely get clearer after the first tournament in 2022. The bottom line is Canada need to start winning more games and build a gap between them and Japan who look early contenders for relegation. They'll get their first chance next weekend when Dubai hosts the second tournament, this time with fans present.

One of the problems for the men's program is the depth of the bench, in their win against Japan they were up 22-0 but when the bench came on they leaked 14 points very quickly. One try the result of a missed one on one tackle, the other a wild pass to no one, both attributed to the bench and new players on the circuit. The veteran core is thin and with Jake Thiel and Phil Berna both injured it's now even more so. Thomas Isherwood and Jarvis Dashkewytch stepped into starting roles in the Japan match and did very well.

The women's program is also struggling as they look to bring in new players and they're operating under a temporary coach. They're listed in 8th place after Dubai, tied with the absent New Zealand. They're 9th on the list with England slotted in ahead of them, England will be adjusted on Great Britain points in the new year. More importantly there are only two teams below them, Spain and Ireland, and Canada will need to build a buffer between those nations flirting with the relegation zone. The women finished the tournament with only 4 subs as two starters, Renee Gonzalez and Asia Hogan-Rochester, weren't listed in the final match.

Both teams resume action in Dubai for the second tournament next weekend.


Canada went 1-1 on Day 2 to finish the tournament in 11th place of 12.

Canada 22 - Japan 14

Nicholas Allen 4' & 8'
Theo Sauder 6' & 9'

Canada 14 - Spain 45

Andrew Coe 6'
D'Shawn Bowen 16'


Canada went 0-3 on Day 2 to finish the tournament in 8th place of 10.

Canada 7 - USA 17

Canada were down to 4 on the bench with no sign of Renee Gonzalez in the reserves. The USA size was the difference, they won several breakdown battles and generally dominated at the contact area.

Olivia De Couvreur 1'

Canada 10 - Russia 17

Breanne Nicholas 8'
Pam Buisa 9'

Canada 7 - Great Britain 24

Nakisa Levale 8'

Canada Men 0-3 on Day 1 in Dubai, Women 1-1: Full Match Replays

Canada went 0-3 in the men's tournament while the women were 1-1. The match results, Canada scorers and full match replays are below.

The men lost Jake Thiel to injury in the France game, no word yet on how serious that injury is but it looks like he's gone for the tournament at least.

The men started well against Australia to open the tournament and actually were leading 12-7 at the half. They completely shutdown in the second half as Australia ran in four unanswered tries. Canada looked out on their feet in terms of match fitness.

They lost to Fiji and France, defence and making their tackles is one area of concern, along with the fitness to go the full 14 in the Dubai heat. They face Spain in the 9th place semi, Spain upset USA in the pool round so Canada will have to bring something extra to win that match. Japan face France in the other 9th place semi.

The women looked more competitive, just losing to Fiji in the first game at the whistle. The winger pinched in instead of keeping her width and gave Fiji the run in under the posts. Canada looked poised to snatch that victory with a late try of their own.

Canada defeated Ireland in their second match. Canada face Great Britain and Russia in pool matches on Day 2. Russia defeated Fiji so Canada need to win at least one of these matches, otherwise they'll likely be in the 7th place playoff.

Canada 19 - Australia 35 (Men)

Josiah Morra 1' & 9'
Nicholas Allen 7'

Canada 14 - Fiji 29 (Men)

Josiah Morra 8'
Cooper Coats 8'

Canada 14 v France 24 (Men)

Josiah Morra 6'
Andrew Coe 8'

Canada 26 - Fiji 28 (Women)

Olivia De Couvreur 5'
Asia Hogan-Rochester 6'
Breanne Nicholas 9'
Elissa Alarie 13'

Canada 21 v Ireland 17 (Women)

Pam Buisa 5'
Renee Gonzalez 7'
Elissa Alarie 10'

Canada Name Men's and Women's Team for Dubai Tournament

The men's tournament kicks off Thursday evening, west coast time, 21:32 with South Africa v Ireland. Streaming is on CBC Sports. Canada face Australia at 23:00 and the tournament will go on through the wee hours of Friday morning with Canada v France at 6:35am being one of the final pool matches. The men go straight into the quarter-finals on Day 2 after 3 pool matches on Day 1. They'll start the quarter-finals at 22:28 PT on Friday evening.

The women's tournament starts at 20:48 PT Thursday evening with Australia v USA, Canada's first match is at 00:56 early Friday morning vs Fiji. The women's format is a little different with 4 pool matches, 2 each day. Canada's second match on Day 1 is at 6:07am PT Friday morning against Ireland. They'll then face Great Britain and Russia on Day 2 which will be late Friday night/early Saturday morning on the west coast.

The men's selection features Jake Thiel as captain. Cody Nhanala who has been exceptional with the Pacific Pride gets a first start with the national 7s. Lachlan Kratz comes in from the MLR, will he stay or return to MLR action in the new year? Andrew Coe is listed as from RUNY (Rugby United New York of the MLR) which raised a few eyebrows including RUNY's on social media. Brock Webster and Cooper Coats return after spending time with the XVs program. Besides Coe, there are 3 other players with UBC roots, Sauder, Allen and Ergas. UVic represented by Dashkewytch. Josiah Morra is one of the veteran players now with no mention of Matt Mullins, Mike Fuailefau, or Isaac Kaay in the injured list.

On the women's side Breanne Nicholas is captain, Olivia Apps and Elissa Alarie represent the veterans with Brittany Benn, Caroline Crossley and others not listed in the roster or the unavailable for selection list. Renee Gonzalez has been impressive with the XVs team as has Pam Buisa and Sabrina Poulin. Fancy Bermudez has come up through the national age-grade development program and has impressed in a scrum half role.

Both programs are featuring a lot of young players and a number of crossover players with XVs. This will be the first real test for the "new" programs in this Olympic cycle. Good luck to both teams, excited to see how they perform.

Men's Team (from Rugby Canada)

Canada’s Senior Men’s Sevens team return to action at the Emirate Dubai 7s on Friday, November 26 for the first stop of the 2022 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. The men’s competition will follow the Olympic format with three pools of four teams, while the 10 team women’s event sees the teams divided into two pools of five.

The completion of the Tokyo Summer Games this past summer saw the retirement of many veteran Canadian Sevens players, creating an opportunity for many new faces to join the centralized program in Langford, BC. This transition phase will also allow returning players to be given more opportunity to showcase their talent on the international stage.

Olympian and Abbotsford native Jake Thiel will captain his first tournament with the absence of Phil Berna who is not available due to injury. Canada is expected to have three players make their Sevens debut: Cody Nhanala, Jarvis Dashkewytch and Lachlan Kratz. Fresh off their Fall Tour with the Canada Men’s 15s program, Brock Webster and Kratz join the Sevens squad for this weekend’s tournament in Dubai. The trio of Nick Allen, Thomas Isherwood, and Elias Ergas are all participating on their first tour with the team outside of Canada.

The 2022 Sevens Series begins on November 26-27. Canada’s Men’s Squad has been drawn into Pool A alongside Olympic champions Fiji, Australia and France. For full coverage of this weekend’s action, visit the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series website HERE for the most up to date information, scores, stats and schedule updates.

Broadcast coverage of the HSBC Sevens Series will be available in Canada via CBC. All events are available to live stream via, the CBC Sports app and the free CBC Gem streaming service. Saturday's CBC’s TV broadcast will feature recently retired and Canada’s most decorated National Seven’s female athlete, Ghislaine Landry, as a studio analyst. The show goes live at 1:00pm ET/10:00am PT.

1 Theo Sauder (Vancouver, BC) - Vancouver Rowing Club
2 Jake Thiel (Abbotsford, BC) - Abbotsford RFC
3 Nick Allen (North Vancouver, BC) - Capilano RFC
4 Andrew Coe (Markham, ON) - Rugby United New York
5 Cody Nhanala (Ottawa, ON) - Ottawa Ospreys
6 Josiah Morra (Toronto, ON) – Toronto Saracens
7 Brock Webster (Uxbridge, ON) - Oshawa Vikings
8 Cooper Coats (Halifax, NS) - Halifax Tars RFC
9 D’Shawn Bowen (Toronto, ON) - Unattached
10 Lachlan Kratz (Victoria, BC) - NOLA Gold
11 Elias Ergas (Vancouver, BC) – UBC Thunderbirds
12 Thomas Isherwood (Okotoks, AB) - Foothills Lions RFC
13 Jarvis Dashkewytch (Tsawwassen, BC) – UVIC Vikes


Phil Berna
Pat Kay
Brennig Prevost
Anton Ngongo
Sion Griffiths
Matt Oworu
David Richard
Alex Russell

Giovani Douyon
Isaac Olson
Lucas Scheck
Noah Bain

Women's Team (from Rugby Canada)

Canada’s Senior Women’s Sevens are back in action at the Emirate Dubai 7s on Friday November 26, to begin the 2022 HSBC World Rugby Seven Series. The women’s competition sees the 10 competing teams divided into two pools of five, while the 12-team men’s competition will follow the Olympic format with three pools of four teams.

Canada’s National Sevens team has experienced many changes both in its player roster, as well as coaching staff, after a disappointing finish at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games. This new team features some returning veterans joined by exciting new talent who have earned their opportunities at the Senior level.

The Dubai roster sees veteran players Pamphinette Buisa, Elissa Alarie, Breanne Nicholas, Emma Chown, and Oliva Apps lead the team into 2022. Other selected players saw their first HSBC Sevens Series action in Vancouver and Edmonton this past fall, including Renee Gonzalez, Sabrina Poulin, Olivia De Couvreur, Nakisa Levale, Asia Hogan Rochester, Fancy Bermudez and Chloe Daniels. Krissy Scurfield is expected to make her Sevens Series debut.

Canada will feature in Pool B against Olympic bronze medalists Fiji, Great Britain, Ireland and Russia. Great Britain will be looking to continue their strong run of play after a pair of tournament wins in the Women’s ‘Fast Four’ events in Vancouver and Edmonton in September.


1. Olivia De Couvreur (Ottawa, ON) - Ottawa Irish
2. Renee Gonzalez (Toronto, ON) - University of Victoria Vikes
3. Pamphinette Buisa (Gatineau, QC) - Ottawa Irish/University of Victoria
4. Olivia Apps (Sarnia, ON) - Lindsay RFC
5. Breanne Nicholas (Blenheim, ON) - London St. Georges
6. Emma Chown (Barrie, ON) - Aurora Barbarians
7. Sabrina Poulin (St-Georges de Beauce) - Town of Mount Royal Rugby
8. Nakisa Levale (Abbotsford, BC) - Abbotsford RFC
9. Asia Hogan-Rochester (Toronto, ON) - Toronto Nomads
10. Fancy Bermudez (Edmonton, AB) - Nor'Wester Athletic Association NWAA
11. Elissa Alarie (Trois-rivieres, QC) - Westshore RFC/ Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Braves de Trois-Riviéres
12. Chloe Daniels (Sutton, ON) - RC Maple Leafs Academy/Queens University
13. Krissy Scurfield (Canmore, AB) - University of Victoria Vikes

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