MLR Updates – January 2022

Conor McCann Signs with Toronto Arrows: Former Youth Rugby Star Returns to National Team Pathway

Conor McCann was one of the bright stars in Canadian rugby a decade ago. He came into our view in the summer of 2011 when he helped Ontario win the Victoria International 7s U18 division. He made the tournament all-star team along with another top player, Justin Douglas, who went on to be a mainstay on the national 7s team. He played for the invitational DHL XV (Derek Hyde-Lay) that year, along with John Moonlight, Connor Braid, Conor Trainor, against the Canada U20 team, he would have been 17 or 18 at the time. He would go on and play for the Canada U20 team the next two years, 2012 and 2013. He compiled 60 points over the two tournaments making him Canada’s all-time leading scorer in the JWRT at the time, a record that may still stand.

He represented Canada in September 2011 at the Youth Commonwealth Games, also on that team were Lucas Hammond and Justin Douglas.

He stayed in BC for the fall of 2011 and played for James Bay in the BC Premier league, playing alongside Connor Braid in a potent backline.

In 2012 he attended the Clermont Academy in France. He got to play a preseason match for the top Clermont team with Jamie Cudmore also in the lineup.

By the fall of 2013 he was back in James Bay colours playing in the BC Premier. Everyone expected him to be capped by the senior XVs team, but it didn’t happen. By the spring of 2014 he vanished from the BC Rugby scene and returned to Ontario. According to the Arrows profile he helped his home Ontario club, Balmy Beach, win Provincial championships in 2014 and 2015 but he fell off the national selection radar.

At 28 now, he’s making a comeback, playing in the MLR and we look forward to seeing him play. He was a top #10 prospect in his youth, a position he owned for the Canada U20 team in 2012. Shane O’Leary took that spot on the 2013 team, moving McCann to inside centre where he partnered with Pat Kay at outside centre.

Connor McCann is one of the few players who have won BCRN MVP hoodies in different years. The photo on the right is from 2013, post Clermont, the one on the left would likely be 2011, pre-Clermont.


July 2011
Ontario Win Under-18 Victoria International Sevens, BC Squads Place Second and Third

All Star Selections
Fuku Vikilani (BC-1)
Justin Douglas (BC-2)
Monty Tichkowsky (Prairies)
Tino Lapale (Utah)
Conor McCann (Ontario)
Byron Boville (Ontario)
Patrick Barrett (USA All-Americans)

“DHL XV Defeats Canada U20 in Entertaining Spectacle: 60-40” was the headline on BCRN. The U20 were preparing for their 2011 World Trophy Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia and this was one of their warm-up matches.

Scorers for DHL XV – tries by Ryan Smith (2), Doug Wooldridge (2), Conor Trainor (2), Ryan Hamilton, John Moonlight, Johnny Morris, Conor Braid
Conversions by Conor Braid (3), Conor McCann (2)

Scorers for Canada U20 – tries by Tyler Ardron (2), Kurtis Appledorn, Clayton Meeres, Cam Stones, Evan Olmstead
Conversions by Liam Underwood (5)

September 2011
Youth Commonwealth Games – 2011

Canadian U18 Sevens Roster

(Name – Club/Hometown)
Lukas Balkovec – Waterloo County RFC/ Kitchener, Ont.
Andrew Battaglia – Aurora Barbarians RFC/ Aurora, Ont.
Jorden Best – Abbotsford RFC/ Abbotsford, BC
Byron Boville – Barrie RFC/ Barrie, Ont.
Justin Douglas – Abbotsford RFC/ Abbotsford, BC
Haydn Evans – Cowichan Rugby Club/ Terrace, BC
Scott Gauer – Crusaders Rugby Club/ Mississaugua, Ont.
Fergus Hall – Castaway Wanderers/ Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond – Toronto Nomads RFC/ Toronto, Ont.
Pat Kay – Cowichan Rugby Club/ Cowichan, BC
Conor McCann – Balmy Beach RFC/ Toronto, Ont.
Nathan Yanagiya – Capilano RFC/ North Vancouver, BC

October 2011

James Bay News – Fall Season 2011

Morgan Williams – together with Dan Harlow – again led JBAA try scorers, with two apiece. Conor McCann notched a try, four converts and two penalty goals, for a total of 19 points.

August 2012

Two Young Canadians Get a Taste of Professional Rugby in Europe: Taylor Paris and Conor McCann Play in Preseason Matches

Taylor Paris scored his first try wearing Glasgow colours in their preseason match against Castres, a narrow loss 20-17. The Glasgow Warriors site had this to say:

“Second half scores from backline additions Taylor Paris and Byron McGuigan saw Gregor Townsend’s men push a side several weeks ahead of them in fitness and match action all the way, before a late pushover try with Ruaridh Jackson in the sin bin sneaked it for the French.

19-year-old Paris, the youngest player ever to be capped by Canada at both 15s and 7s, was the beneficiary of a fine break from Tommy Seymour, while McGuigan, a Scotland 7s cap, finished off a perceptive length of the field move started by Elite Development signing Fraser Thomson’s cute mark.”

Elsewhere in France, another young Canadian was getting game time with the top team as Conor McCann played in Clermont’s 31-19 victory over Lyon. Jamie Cudmore also suited up for Clermont.

November 2013

BC Rugby Weekend of November 2nd 2013


1. Noah Barker
2. Sterling Vidalin
3. Cole Racine
4. Jimmy de Goede
5. Kieran McAuley
6. Nate Waldmann
7. Jamal Allen
8. Taylor Dalziel
9. Lucien Nel
10. Spence Dalziel
11. Mitch Bancroft
12. Vince Herlaar
13. Mike Nieuwenhuysen
14. Elliot Peacock
15. Conor McCann

BC Rugby Weekend of November 16th 2013


1 Noah Barker
2 Blake van Heyningen
3 Cole Racine
4 Jim de Goede
5 Nolan Miles
6 Nate Waldmann
7 Rain Slavica
8 Taylor Dalziel
9 Spence Dalziel
10 Conor McCann
11 Mitch Bancroft
12 Clayton Meeres
13 Mike Nieuwenhuysen
14 Braeden Simmonds
15 Jordan Wilson-Ross

CHEK News Story from May 2012

Posted in MLR.