Canada Men’s XVs – Summer 2023

Canada Announce Long List for Tonga Matches in August

Rugby Canada has confirmed what the Tongan rugby union had already stated, Tonga will play two World Cup warm up matches against Canada. The Tonga pre-World Cup schedule is Australia A, Fiji, Samoa, Japan, Canada, Canada.

Canada announced a 41 player long list and that will be reduced to a 32 player travelling roster in July.

There are some important names missing from the list, Tyler Duguid, the only NextGen Canadian playing in Top 14, one of the top pro leagues on the planet. Andrew Coe, arguably, the top Canadian player in MLR. Also missing are top MLR veterans like Kyle Baillie and Josh Larsen. Shane O’Leary is a surprise omission which means the #10 jersey is down to Peter Nelson, Rob Povey or Gradyn Bowd.

The 7s program is preparing for an important Olympic qualifying tournament so no players on their long list would be available. On a side note we heard from a reliable source that the Vancouver 7s will be on the circuit next season, the official announcement has been pushed out to July 5th.

It will be interesting to see the 32 player list as 9 names will be dropped without setting foot in camp. There are a number of players on the long list who are currently playing in NZ and a short 5 hour flight away from Tonga, those include Gabe Casey, Siaki Vikilani, Izzak Kelly, Jacob Bossi and Callum Botchar. Cody Nhanala, former Pride player, playing Premier rugby in Western Australia was left off the list.

Only two players from the current Coast to Coast Cup are on the list, both Pride players, Matt Klimchuk and Zephyr Melnyk.

This may be the last selection from current head coach Kingsley Jones as many are expecting a new start after the World Cup wraps up and contracts are reviewed and renewed.

from Rugby Canada

Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team will play two test matches in Tonga this August as the program continues to build towards 2025’s qualification matches for the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

With 2023 marking Tonga Rugby Union’s centennial, Canada will play Tonga on August 10 and 15, the first matches that Tonga has hosted on home soil since 2017. These will also serve as Tonga’s final warm-up matches ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Prior to arriving in Tonga, Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team will hold a training camp in Nadi, Fiji, which will include a training scrimmage with the Fijian Drua academy (Fiji’s Super Rugby team). This will be the first time Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team has come together since playing the Netherlands and Namibia in Amsterdam last November.

“Our week-long camp in Fiji will be tremendous preparation for us ahead of playing Tonga, who will be performing at their peak as they prime themselves for one of the strongest World Cup campaigns in Tongan history,” said Kingsley Jones, Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team Head Coach. Tonga recently announced their July test matches squad, which includes experienced former All Blacks and Wallabies. “We need opportunities to play against top rugby nations, and these matches in Tonga will help us build our base as we journey towards 2025 and qualification for the next Rugby World Cup.”

A long list of 41 players has been named for the Tonga tour, from which a 32-player travelling roster will be selected in July. With this team travelling in the South Pacific while Canada’s men’s sevens program prepares for Olympic qualification, August will be a busy month for Canada’s men’s rugby players.

“We are excited to have so many players active and preparing for competition throughout the summer, and there has been collaboration amongst all our programs to ensure that players are in the right competitive environments this season,” said Jones. “The tour in Tonga also presents a potential opportunity for some young up-and-comers who have impressed with the Pacific Pride and in the MLR to gain experience on the international stage. I am looking forward to seeing this group grow and learn during our time in Fiji and Tonga.”

More information, including kick-off times and how to follow, will be announced in the coming weeks.



Andrew Quattrin (Holland Landing, ON) – Aurora Barbarians / New England Free Jacks
Calixto Martinez (White Rock, BC) – Bayside RFC / Old Glory DC
Callum Botchar (Vancouver, BC) – Pacific Pride / New Plymouth Old Boys
Cole Keith (Apohaqui, NB) – Belleisle Rovers RFC / New England Free Jacks
Conor Keys (Stittsville, ON) – Barrhaven Scottish / Ottawa Ospreys / New England Free Jacks
Conor Young (Yamba, Australia) – Greater Sydney Rams / New England Free Jacks
Djustice Sears-Duru (Oakville, ON) – Oakville Crusaders / San Diego Legion
Foster Dewitt (Courtney, BC) – Westshore RFC / New England Free Jacks
Izzak Kelly (White Rock, BC) – Bayside RFC / University of British Columbia / Spotswood United RFC
Jacob Bossi (Victoria, BC) – University of British Columbia / Spotswood United RFC
Kyle Steeves (Winnipeg, MB) – Manitoba Wombats / Dallas Jackals
Liam Murray (Langley, BC) – Dallas Jackals
Lindsey Stevens (Sydney, Australia) – Eastern Suburb RUFC / Chicago Hounds
Lucas Rumball (Scarborough, ON) – Balmy Beach RFC / Toronto Arrows
Mason Flesch (Cobourg, ON) – Pacific Pride / Toronto Arrows
Matthew Klimchuk (Regina, SK) – Regina Rogues / Pacific Pride
Owain Ruttan (Cobourg, ON) – University of British Columbia / Toronto Arrows
Piers Von Dadelszen (Vancouver, BC) – Oxford University
Reegan O’Gorman (Vancouver, BC) – Vancouver Rowing Club / New England Free Jacks
Siaki Vikilani (Vancouver, BC) – Burnaby Lake RFC / The American Raptors
Travis Larsen (Parksville, BC) – James Bay AA / Meralomas / Toronto Arrows
Tyler Rowland (Mississauga, ON) – Toronto Nomads / Pacific Pride / Toronto Arrows
Tyler Wong (North Vancouver, BC) – Pacific Pride / Toronto Arrows
Zephyr Melnyk (Gabriola Island, BC) – Nanaimo Hornets / Pacific Pride


Ben LeSage (Calgary, AB) – Calgary Canucks / New England Free Jacks
Ciaran Breen (Victoria, BC) – Cowichan RFC / Toronto Arrows
D’Shawn Bowen (Toronto, ON) – Pacific Pride / Toronto Arrows
Gabe Casey (Ottawa, ON) – University of Victoria
Gradyn Bowd (Red Deer, AB) – Castaway Wanderers / Old Glory DC
Isaac Olson (Vernon, BC) – New England Free Jacks
Jack Shaw (Oakville, ON) – Oakville Crusaders / Rugby Atlanta
Jason Higgins (Cork, Ireland) – San Diego Legion
Kainoa Lloyd (Mississauga, ON) – Queen’s University / Houston SaberCats
Liam Bowman (Oakville, ON) – Oakville Crusaders / Toronto Arrows
Mitch Richardson (Stoney Creek, ON) – McMaster University / Toronto Arrows
Peter Nelson (Dungannon, UK) – Dungannon RFC / Toronto Arrows
Robbie Povey (Northampton, UK) – Long Bukby RFC / Houston SaberCats
Ross Braude (Pretoria, South Africa) – Toronto Arrows
Spencer Jones (Cambridge, New Zealand) – New England Free Jacks
Takoda McMullin (Surrey, BC) – University of British Columbia
Talon McMullin (Surrey, BC) – University of British Columbia

Posted in National Men's XVs.

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