The Canadian men’s and women’s sevens teams will look to defend their titles at the 2019 Pan American Games from 26 -28 July in Lima.
The coaches of both squads have opted to rest some of their veteran players to give new talent an opportunity to showcase their skills at the event.
Fresh from winning the regional Olympic qualifiers, men’s sevens head coach Henry Paul is giving his experienced players a break whiles others are out because of injury. Canada are in pool B with Argentina, Uruguay and Jamaica.
Replacing Andrew Coe, Mike FauliaFau, Matt Mullins and Jake Thiel – who are being rested – are Sean Duke, Admir Cejvanovic, Luke McCloskey and Brennig Prevost. Justin Douglas, Connor Braid and Lucas Hammond are injured.
The Canadian Press quoted Paul as saying: “Selection for the Pan Ams were based on balancing game load as well as giving some others opportunities.
“It was quite a heavy training block going into the Olympic qualifier and I’ve been working with the staff to give players who need it an extra bit of rest.
“This is also a chance for guys to put their hands up going into this Olympic year. There were some guys who had commitments with the U20 Trophy [tournament in Brazil] but it’s a good chance for development for other guys like Brennig Prevost on the big stage.”
Co-captain Harry Jones was confident of a good result even without some key players.
“There’s 12 strong players going,” he was quoted as saying. We’re leaving a few boys back at home just to get rested up that had a few niggles. We have a strong team, a team that can definitely get the job done. All the boys are excited to get down there.”
Squad: Phil Berna, Cooper Coasts, Admir Cejvanovic, Sean Duke, Nathan Hirayama, Harry Jones, Isaac Kaay, Patrick Kay, Luke McCloskey, Josiah Morra, Brennig Prevost, Adam Zaruba.
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Meanwhile, hoping for a repeat of their gold medal performance in the 2015 Pan American Games the women sevens team aim to use the tournament to test new talent ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Overseeing the team on behalf of head coach John Tait, assistant Coach Morgan Williams has made eight changes to the squad that qualified to next year’s Olympics by finishing third in last season’s HSBC Sevens Series.
“We’ve got a great mix of talent on this Pan American Games team, said Williams to The Canadian Press. “We have some exciting up-and-coming talent as well as world series experienced veterans. This will be a great opportunity for exposure and experience on a big stage, especially as we look to build to Tokyo 2020.”
In Pool B, they will face Brazil, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago.
Squad: Delaney Aikens, Pam Buisa, Emma Chown, Caroline Crossley, Olivia De Couvreur, Asia Hogan-Rochester, Sara Kaljuvee, Tausani Levale, Kaili lukan, Kayla Moleschi (captain), Breanne Nicholas, Temitiope Ogunjimi.
Main photo: Twitter