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Canada Names U20s for Worlds

Thursday May 7, 2009 in Canada Age Grade - Boys

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May 7, 2009 - After a four day training camp and exhibition match that saw his side hold their own against an interesting mix of former and current Canada sevens and fifteens players, Tim Murdy and his coaching staff have made their selections for the 2009 Junior World Championship.

Of the 36 flown out to Shawnigan Lake School this past weekend, 26 will travel to Japan to take on Wales, Australia and Tonga in the Pool Stages. After beating a Invitational XV , the Under-20 squad’s preparations are well under way.

The Sunday morning match saw Brett Beukeboom, Justin Chelak and Chris Barrett each go over for the U20 selection squad. The Invitational side would respond through Grant Schneider before U20 standoff Connor Braid broke through for a try for a 22-17 final score.

The camp also saw the players continue improving their skills and all players went through another battery of fitness tests which showed improvements from the previous camp.

The roster selected for Japan features a number of up-and-coming players in the rugby community. Returning player Harry Jones out of the University of British Columbia captained the side earlier this year on the spring tour.

The tenacity of Leicester Academy’s Sebastian Pearson will give this team an edge in the world stages. University of Victoria Rookie of the Year Brett Beukeboom is also among the 14 forwards selections.

The back line features a number of promising players including recent James Bay Division One Champion Connor Braid at standoff. The line will be especially lethal with UBC’s Taylor Dalziel in the center and Alliston, Ontario’s Jordan Wilson-Ross finishing off their plays down the wing.

"It's a real different feeling from playing club rugby where there is still a lot of passion - but this is really awesome," said Braid.

Coach Tim Murdy - who will be taking his second team to the U20 World Championships says it has been a good build up and he is happy at where the development of the team is currently.

"I am pleased where we are at right now,” offered Murdy from his Shawnigan Lake, BC base.

He points to the March tour to New Zealand where the Canadian U20 prospects played against three regional development sides as a key factor in the maturation of the 2009 team.

"Going out to New Zealand and seeing how the players responded to that pressure was very important as a gauge for the players we have available," said Murdy.

Murdy points to the steadying influence of second year players like Team Captain Harry Jones and flanker Seb Pearson as keys to the team maturing - but he has also found a gem like Jamal Allen - and been pleased to add him into the mix.

"Jamal is a football convert and is showing great promise," offered Murdy. Other new additions include a couple of players in the front row that will hopefully provide a solid platform.

"A couple of props - Richard Townsend and Nick Wallace have offered a lot to the physicality side of things," said Murdy.

Looking at the 2008 version of the team to this year - Murdy concurs that it is a bigger side physically - something they will need in terms of staying with teams like Australia, Wales and Tonga.

"The team is gelling on the defensive side of the ball," he went on. "You need not just the size but the physicality to hold onto the ball - or rip the ball away from the opposition."

Murdy also acknowledged the huge support the team is receiving from the rugby community ahead of this huge challenge - and points to the financial support provided through the Canadian Rugby Foundation as an enormous aid in preparing the team. Matthuw Ronald Jones,

Rugby Canada National Men's U20 Squad for IRB 2009 Junior World Cup - U20

Jamal Allen (Vancouver, BC)
Kyle Armstrong (Whitby, ON)
Chris Barrett (Vancouver, BC)
Brett Beukeboom (Lindsay, ON)
Connor Braid (Victoria, BC)
Justin Chelak (Vancouver, BC)
Andrew Crow (Victoria, BC)
Taylor Dalziel (Vancouver, BC)
Chris Dickenson (Oakville, ON)
Pat Fraser (Cobble Hill, BC)
Ryan Fried (New Hamburg, ON)
Harry Jones (West Vancouver, BC)
Aaron Johnstone (Bowen Island, BC)
Jesse Kliman  (Victoria, BC)
Evan Mallory (North Vancouver, BC)
Jeff McKinnon (North Vancouver, BC)
Sebastian Pearson  (Lindsay, ON)
Will Philippson (Duncan, BC)
Dakota Poole  (Whitefish Montana, BC)
Josh Schlebach (Calgary, AB)
Grant Schneider (Oakville, ON)
Richard Townsend (Hartpury College, Herefordshire, ENG)
Conor Trainor (Vancouver, BC)
Nick Wallace (Bellingham, WA)
Jordan Wilson-Ross (Alliston, ON)
Toni Wodzicki (Montreal, QC)

Head Coach: Tim Murdy
Assistant Coach: Ian Hyde Lay
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Joe McCullum
Manager: Brian Hunter
Video Analyst/Media Manager: Andrew Smith
Medical: Ben Suen, Dr. Andre du Toit

- Andrew Smith, Doug Crosse

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