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Ontario Readies for ARC With Warmup with Midwest

Wednesday Aug 12, 2009 in Canada Domestic Competitions

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The Ontario Blues of the Americas Rugby Championship have selected their squad and now begin formal preparations for their first ever game, a pre-season match against the USA’s Midwest Thunderbirds on August 22 in Elkhart, Ind.

Some familiar names dot the 30 man squad, which features only one player over age 29 and has an average age of 24, including World Cup veterans Dan and Mike Pletch, Derek Daypuck and recent and current caps Doug Woolridge, John Moonlight and recent 7s caps Jordan Kozina and Colin Brown.

The U20 list includes both Brett Beukeboom and Seb Pearson who have recently returned from the U20 World Cup in Japan.

Despite the relative youth of the team, international experience dominates as over half the squad have represented Canada at XVs, 7s or age-grade competitions.

The Blues will travel to Indiana on Friday August 21 for what should be a very challenging match against the established territorial team, the Thunderbirds. “We were looking for a high level game that would give us the right kind of competition before the ARC season begins’ said Ontario team manager Mark Winokur, “and we have no doubt that the Tbirds will give us that kind of a game; the guys are obviously really looking forward to it.”

The Blues will open regular season play against the yet-unnamed BC team at Brockton Oval in Vancouver on September 12 before returning to Ontario for the home opener against the Prairie Wolfpack on September 19 at Fletchers Fields, Markham, Ont.

Saturday August 22 @ Midwest USA Thunderbirds (Elkhart, Indiana) 4 pm
Saturday September 12 @ British Columbia
Saturday September 19 v Prairie Wolfpack, Fletchers Fields, Markham Ont.
Saturday September 26 v Atlantic Rock, Fletchers Fields, Markham Ont.
Saturday October 10 Canada 2 @ Canada 1
Saturday October 17 Winner of Canada 2 @ Canada 1 v winner of USA A v. Argentina Jaguars, Fletchers Fields, Markham Ont.

Head Coach-Les Gilson
Assistant Coach- Darell Devine
Assistant Coach-Jim Flynn
Team Manager-Mark Winokur
Strength and Conditioning-Fabian Rayne
Athletic Therapist-Mike Cook
Video Analyst-Rodin Lozada
Event Manager-Heather Vesh


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