LANGFORD, B.C. - Canada's roster for the first leg of the IRB Men's Sevens World Series rugby competition includes a couple of new faces as the squad copes with injuries to several veterans.
Interim coach Ben Herring included uncapped players Adam Zaruba and Jack Smith in his 12-man squad for the Oct. 11-12 tournament on the Gold Coast of Australia.
The duo will join several experienced regulars, including captain John Moonlight, Harry Jones, Sean Duke and Ciaran Hearn.
But Phil Mack, Nathan Hirayama, Sean White and Mike Scholz were all ruled out of the opener due to injuries.
"We have a lot of experience in our team and I am excited to balance that out with a few new faces, which will bring some zip and energy into the squad," said Herring. "We will play as fast as we can, tidy up a few areas we have identified during the off-season, and continue to play with the fierce heart and passion that is characteristic of all Canadian sides."
After Australia, the teams will have an eight-week break before back-to-back legs in Dubai and South Africa.
Canada finished sixth in the sevens series last season.
Herring is filling in at the helm while new coach Liam Middleton is working on meeting Canadian immigration requirements. Canada was in need of a new coach after Geraint John left to head up Australia's program.
"We are really keen to start this competition on the right foot, building on the growth we have done to date," said Herring. "Performing as a unit gives a great base (to build off) and hopefully we can carry that forward for the entire season."
Canada is in a tough pool with Argentina, England and the United States.
"We need to look after the ball, if we can keep possession for extended periods we have the ability in our squad to score points and win games," said Herring. "That will be the process. If we are all on deck with that simply mantra, the performance and outcomes will be favourable."
Roster: Justin Douglas, Abbotsford, B.C.; Sean Duke, Vancouver; Mike Fuailefau, Victoria; Lucas Hammond, Toronto; Ciaran Hearn, Conception Bay South, N.L.; Harry Jones, North Vancouver; John Moonlight, Pickering, Ont.; Jack Smith, Lakefield, Ont.; Conor Trainor, Vancouver; Jake Webster, Lindsay, Ont.; Jordan Wilson-Ross, Alliston, Ont., Adam Zaruba, Vancouver.