Veteran Berna to lead Canadian men in Pan Am Games rugby sevens competition
Veteran Phil Berna will lead the Canadian rugby sevens men next month at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
The Canadians men won gold in the sport's debut in 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico, winning again in Toronto in 2015 before finishing runner-up to Argentina in 2019 in Lima, Peru.
The women's game debuted in 2015 with the Canadians winning gold in both Toronto and Lima. Caroline Crossley, Olivia De Couvreur, Asia Hogan-Rochester and Breanne Nicholas return to defend their Pan Am title.
Rugby sevens is scheduled for Nov. 3-4 at the Estadio Municipal de La Pintana.
The Pan Ams will mark the first action for the Canadian teams since August's Rugby Americas North (RAN) Sevens in Langford, B.C. The Canadian women won the tournament, thumping Mexico 53-0 to qualify for the Paris Olympics. The Canadian men lost 24-14 to the U.S. in their final and now move on to a last-ditch Olympic repechage tournament.
Nicholas and Berna are two of five Olympians who will compete in Santiago, along with Tokyo 2020 veterans Julia Greenshields, Charity Williams and Jake Thiel.
Crossley returns to competition with the Canadian women’s team for the first time since 2019, with Williams is back from a long-term injury.
Canada's Pan America Rugby Teams
Olivia De Couvreur, Ottawa, Ottawa Irish; Breanne Nicholas,(Blenheim, Ont., Kent Havoc RFC; Julia Greenshields, Sarnia, Ont., Sarnia Saints; Charity Williams, Toronto, Markham Irish; Piper Logan, Calgary, UBC; Eden Kilgour, Barrie, Ont., Aurora Barbarians; Alysha Corrigan, Charlottetown, P.E.I., CRFC; Carissa Norsten, Waldheim, Sask., University of Victoria; Shalaya Valenzuela, Abbotsford, B.C., Abbotsford RFC; Asia Hogan-Rochester, Toronto, Toronto Nomads RFC; Caroline Crossley, Victoria, Castaways Wanderers; Chloe Daniels, Sutton, Ont., Queen’s University.
Head Coach: Jack Hanratty.
Assistant Coach: Iain Monaghan.
Jake Thiel, Victoria, James Bay AA; Phil Berna, Vancouver, Vancouver Rowing Club; Brock Webster, Uxbridge, Ont., Oshawa Vikings RFC; Elias Ergas, Vancouver, UBC; David Richard, Milton, Ont., Mississauga Blues RFC; Ethan Hager, Brantford, Ont., Brantford Harlequins Rugby Club; Thomas Isherwood, Okotoks, Alta., Foothills Lions RFC; Kal Sager, Peterborough, Ont., Trent University; Lockie Kratz, Victoria, NOLA Gold (MLS); Elias Hancock, Ottawa, Bytown Blues; Matt Percillier, Victoria, UBC; Jack Carson, Victoria, UBC.
Head Coach: Sean White.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2023