Canada U20 vs USA U20 – May 2024 Updates

Rugby Canada Announce 36 Players for Canada U20 Camp: First Match Against USA on June 1st

Rugby Canada have announced a 36 player list for the upcoming U20 series, Canada v USA. It’s the first real test of new High Performance Director Stephen Aboud since his appointment in May 2023. He made his reputation with the Italy U20 program and has had a chance to select a U20 coach of his choosing, Christiaan Esterhuizen, so now the evaluation begins.

The first question we always ask when seeing the new U20 roster is, who is the first choice flyhalf. The forwards will be critical in determining who wins but a talented flyhalf, just like a quarterback in football, will be crucial in orchestrating the attack. In 2013 when Canada just missed out on promotion, losing to Italy in the final, they had two talented flyhalves, Pat Kay and Shane O’Leary. In 2015, the only other time they reached the top two, they had Guiseppe du Toit and Dylan Horgan, an Irish flyhalf.

We note several backline players who competed in the BC Premier season this year. Jesse Kilgour and Paddy Kirwan, scrum halves for the Pacific Pride. Ty Driscoll and Morgan di Nardo back three players from UVic can show up on the wing or at fullback, the same for Matt Bennett. Lockart MacGregor a centre at UVic. Marco Mitchell and Caleb Seumanutafa utility backs from UBC, usually in the centres.

Looking at the other backs St. George’s Ian Turnbull is a centre, Ben Greenstein a back 3 player from Queen’s, Brady Howlett a scrum half from TWU,  Leach a centre from the UK, Cotie another centre from UVic, Thomas Wells Richards from University of Waterloo. We don’t see an obvious flyhalf selection who has been getting consistent time at a high level at this position, so this will be an interesting thread to follow.

In the forwards a number of familiar names from UVic, UBC and the Pride, also Riku Konrad from the BC Premier champion UBCOB Ravens. There are also a couple of UK players from Cardiff Met, one from Bournemouth and an Irish player from Clontarf Rugby Club.

There has been no announcement of any warm up matches so with the opening match just 3 weeks away it may be a first look at the team in action on June 1st.

from Rugby Canada

Thirty-six Canadian U20 men’s players have convened at Shawnigan Lake School in British Columbia for a four-week intensive high performance camp that will lead into two matches against the United States for qualification for the World Rugby U20 Trophy.

Head Coach Christiaan Esterhuizen is joined on the coaching staff by Pacific Pride assistant coach and former Canadian international Hubert Buydens, former Toronto Arrows, American Raptors and University of Guelph coach Cory Hector, and Arrows Academy and University of Toronto Backs/Kicking Coach Paddy Watson. Players will also work directly with High Performance Director Stephen Aboud and Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team Head Coach Kingsley Jones, Defence Coach John McFarland, and Attack Coach Phil Mack.

“We have been very impressed with the work ethic of this squad in this first week of camp,” said Esterhuizen. “These players have made sacrifices to be here training full-time on Vancouver Island for a month, and their hunger to play for Canada and contribute to our success internationally is clear. A lot will be asked of these players over the coming weeks, but we know that this group is ready and eager to give everything they’ve got.”

“The focus of our U20 programming, which is an important step on our pathway towards the senior national teams, is the long-term development of the next generation of Canadian rugby players,” said Aboud. “Over the next few weeks, these players will be pushed hard as they receive excellent coaching support ahead of some valuable international match experience. We look forward to continuing to work with these players as we build our depth chart and strive towards milestones such as the 2027 Rugby World Cup.”

Following camp, the team will meet the United States in a two-game series to determine the North America berth for the 2024 World Rugby U20 Trophy.

The first match will be played at Shawnigan Lake School on Saturday June 1. This will be followed by a second match at Starlight Stadium in Langford on Thursday June 6. Further details, including kick-off times and livestream information, will be announced shortly.

The winner of the series will join seven other teams in Edinburgh, Scotland from July 2 to 17 for the 2024 World Rugby U20 Trophy, the winner of which will earn promotion to the World Rugby U20 Championship for 2024.

CANADA’S U20 MEN’S RUGBY TEAM

FORWARDS

Angus Dewar (Vancouver, BC) – Queen’s University
Austin Allen (Thornbury, ON) – Georgian Bay Titans / Trent University
Brighton Feldman (Langford, BC) – Westshore / University of Victoria
Brodie Lowry (Montreal, QC) – Beaconsfield Rugby Club / Royal Military College
Charles Trollip (Guelph, ON) – Brantford Harlequins / University of Guelph
Daragh Doyle (Dublin, IRE) – Clontarf Rugby Club
Dylan Shaw (Toronto, ON) – Toronto Scottish RFC / University of Guelph
Eric Vann (Burlington, ON) – Burlington Centaurs / University of Toronto
Finlay Kennedy (Ringwood, ENG) – Bournemouth RFC
Garin Schroeder (Stoney Creek, ON) – Burlington Centaurs / Western University
Grant Meadows (Richmond Hill, ON) – Aurora Barbarians RFC / Brock University
Jaxson Jones (Duncan, BC) – Cowichan Rugby Club / University of Victoria
Jeffrey Young (Toronto, ON) – Toronto Nomads / Bedwas RFC
Justin Tasse (Calgary, AB) – Calgary Hornets / Bowness High School
Kyle Finan (Barnsley, ENG) – Red Deer Titans / Trinity Western University
Liam Kinghorn (Calgary, AB) – Calgary Irish / University of British Columbia
Noah Kynaston (Victoria, BC) – Castaway Wanderers / [Pacific Pride]
Olly Wiseman (London, ENG) – Cardiff Metropolitan University
Presley Bosa (Vancouver, BC) – Capilano RFC / Western University
Riku Konrad (Surrey, BC) – UBCOB Ravens
Ryan Cozens (Sidmouth, ENG) – Sidmouth RFC / Cardiff Metropolitan University
Thorson Noble (Victoria, BC) – University of British Columbia

BACKS

Ben Greenstein (Vancouver, BC) – UBCOB Ravens / Queen’s University
Brady Howlett (Maple Ridge, BC) – Abbotsford Rugby Club / Trinity Western University
Caleb Seumanutafa (White Rock, BC) – Bayside Sharks / University of British Columbia
Jesse Kilgour (Barrie, ON) – Barrie RFC / Pacific Pride
Jimmy Leach (London, ENG) – Chinnor RFC / Brunel University
Liam Turnbull (Vancouver, BC) – UBCOB Ravens / St. George’s School
Lockhart MacGregor (Abbotsford, BC) – Abbotsford Panthers / University of Victoria
Matthew Bennett (Victoria, BC) – University of Victoria
Marco Mitchell (Vancouver, BC) – UBCOB Ravens / University of British Columbia
Morgan Di Nardo (Toronto, ON) – Toronto City Rugby / University of Victoria
Patrick Kirwan (Vancouver, BC) – Meralomas
Spencer Cotie (Victoria, BC) – Castaway Wanderers / University of Victoria
Thomas Wells Richards (Toronto, ON) – Balmy Beach RFC / University of Waterloo
Ty Driscoll (Victoria, BC) – Pacific Pride


USA Name U20 Squad for North American Qualifier Against  Canada in June

We’re expecting some announcement from Rugby Canada this week but USA are ahead of the curve and released their roster May 1st. The two game series will be held in the Victoria area, one game at Shawnigan and one at Starlight Stadium in Langford. The date of the first match, likely at Shawnigan, is Saturday June 1st according to sources. The second match is June 6th or 8th, we should find out this week, and that will likely be at Starlight Stadium. The winner of the series represents North America at the JWRT in Scotland this year.

The Canada men’s U20 team are currently holding their camp at Shawnigan in preparation. There hasn’t been a lot of information available to media on Canada’s preparation.

Canada entered the Tier 2 Junior World Rugby Trophy (JWRT) in 2010, previously they were in the Tier 1 Junior World Championship (JWC). Canada have qualified every year except 2016 and 2023, the event was cancelled due to COVID in 2020, 2021, 2022. In 2016 the series was hosted in Austin, Texas and Ben Cima won it for USA with a 54 metre kick at the whistle. 2023 was a different story, and USA were dominant in a 82-35 series aggregate score, that series was held in South Carolina. Canada have never failed to qualify for the JWRT when they’re hosting.

The largest contributor to the USA men’s U20 team are the Cal Bears, the traditional opponent of UBC in the World News Cup competition. Cal has 6 players on the list even though they didn’t make the final 8 this year, they were defeated by Saint Mary’s in the group of 16, Saint Mary’s went on to win the USA College Championship defeating Navy. Saint Mary’s has 2 players on the list of 32. Anthem Rugby who play in the MLR have 4 players on the list.

from USA Rugby

Head Coach Johannes Neethling Gericke leads the USA Men’s U20s into their 2024 campaign next month, as the squad of 32 is named for the annual World Rugby U20s Trophy North American qualifier series against Canada.

Following last year’s first U20s Trophy appearance since 2016, the program with returning names and a capped USA Eagle look to repeat and punch their ticket to Scotland.

Match days, times and live stream information will be shared when confirmed.

Head Coach Neethling Gericke said on the player selections, “We are very excited about this group of young men, with a good mix of USA Rugby experience and some new energy to the U20s camp. Throughout the year, the wider group has kept aligned through different touch points, where they have shown dedication to the U20s campaign and earned this opportunity to represent the USA. Now the time has come to showcase what we can do together, I believe we have selected the right group of players to carry this program forward.”

USA Men’s U20s North American Qualifier Traveling Roster
NAME SCHOOL/CLUB HOMETOWN
Graeme Pedegana Anthem RC Cape Town, RSA
Braemar Murray Anthem RC Leeds, ENG
Dylan Fortune Anthem RC San Diego, CA
Tevita Kutu Anthem RC West Valley City, UT
George Engels Army West Point Westport, CT
Brice Muller Babson College Fairfield, CT
Nikotimo Mateiwai Bond University Sacramento, CA
Asa Rosenmeier Brown University Belmont, MA
Tito Edjua Brown University Woodford Green, NC
Miles Malone Univ. of California – Berkeley Alexandria, VA
Solomon Williams Univ. of California – Berkeley Carlsbad, CA
Max Threlkeld Univ. of California – Berkeley Hong Kong
Rand Santos Univ. of California – Berkeley Manila, IND
Caden Crist Univ. of California – Berkeley San Diego, CA
Emmett Cook Univ. of California – Berkeley Alexandria, VA
Padriac Casey Cal Poly San Jose, CA
Oliver Cline Central Washington Auckland, NZL
Keelan Farrell Esher Rugby Club London, ENG
Benjamin Saunders Grand Canyon Univ. Katy, TX
Corbin Smith Hartpury Univ. Trumbull, CT
Jordan Vassel Life Univ. Coconut Creek, FL
Logan Ballinger Life Univ. Delray Beach, FL
Luke Schaefer Lindenwood Univ. Peoria, AZ
Thomas Wagner Randwick San Diego, CA
Seth Smith Houston SaberCats Fulshear< TX
Spencer Huntley San Diego Mustangs San Diego, CA
Maseah Young St Bonaventure Bronx, NY
Daniel Lowther St Bonaventure Johannesburg, RSA
John-Henry Rouse St Mary’s College Sacramento, CA
Dominic Besag St Mary’s College Danville, CA
Judd Berman Trinity College Carmel Valley, CA
Asbjorn Lau Ross UCLA Irvine, CA
INJURY RESERVES
Colby Marr Charlotte Cardinals Charlotte, NC
Holden Hahn Kentucky Univ. Charlotte, NC
Sederik Saxon Life Univ. Charlotte, NC
Jeremy Zwick Lindenwood Univ. Lakewood, CA
Miles Bell Michigan State Univ. Okemos, MI
Kieran O’Meara Seattle Seawolves Seattle, WA
Eddie Nelson St Bonaventure Vista, CA
Tatum (TJ) Pappas St Mary’s College Roseville, CA
Jack Anstey Southern Districts Cobham, ENG

Head Coach | Johannes Neethling Gericke
Assistant Coach | Elvis Seveali’i
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Matoko Noudehou
Team Manager | Darran Coleman
Team Analyst | Luke Richmond

Selected from a identified pool of 52 players at or under the age of 20, the full traveling squad will arrive in Bellingham, WA on May 18 for a 10-day training camp at the deWilde Rugby & Polo Fields, before heading to Canada for the qualifier series. Men’s 15s General Manager Scott Lawrence and Pathways Manager Brendan Keane continue to commit assembly time to the core of development players, with new additions in 2024. Of the 32 selected, 11 return from the 2023 qualifier and Trophy rosters, with six elevated from the 2023 Men’s U18s touring roster in Amsterdam. The remaining half of those names will make their first USA Rugby camp appearance, both from college and club play and seven names invited out to the Winter Camp this past December in North Carolina, also under the tutelage of Gericke. 2023 Captain, Dominic Besag will return to the group, following his appearance with the USA Men’s National Team last summer, earning his first test cap against Georgia and bringing senior side experience to the young group.

Gericke and Pathways Manager Brendan Keane now look forward to a momentous 2024 off the back of great foundations set last year. A critical piece to the puzzle in long-term planning is a fundraising and support initiative aimed at offering the most time and resources possible to the Junior National Teams. Lawrence has laid out a grid of necessities that goes into funding a single player – from travel, accommodations, coaching and supplies, where there is a significant amount of player support required. While World Rugby grants support the team for competition windows, gifts from generous donors are a crucial part of the plan, and ultimate growth for the USA Eagles on the world stage.

Posted in Front Page, National Men's XVs.