Canadian Olympic Preview: Men’s Rugby Sevens

Nathan Hirayama (Warwick Gastinger, Wikimedia Commons)

In the fourth of an eight-part series looking at the Canadian teams that qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021, it is time to take a look at the men’s rugby sevens squad. This will be the first time Canada has qualified for the Olympic Games in men’s rugby sevens as the team failed to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Team Canada qualified for Tokyo by winning the Rugby Americas North Qualifier from July 6-7, 2019 in George Town, Cayman Islands. In the deciding game, Canada trounced Jamaica 40-5.

One must realize the quality of the Olympic Games will be significantly tougher than the Olympic qualifier. Canada is in Pool B alongside Great Britain (July 25 at 6:30 pm MT), Fiji (July 26 at 12 am MT), and Japan (July 26 at 6 pm MT). The quarterfinals will then take place between 12:30 am and 2:30 am MT on July 26. The semifinals will be at 8 pm and 8:30 pm on July 27, the bronze medal game will be at 2:30 am on July 28, and the gold medal final will be at 3 am on July 28.

The Canadian team will be led by their co-captains Nathan Hirayama of Richmond, British Columbia, and Harry Jones of Vancouver, British Columbia. Hirayama is Canada’s all-time leader in points and tries, while Jones represented Canada at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, and is making the transition to men’s sevens competition.


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