A trio of former Earl Marriott Secondary rugby players are set to star for Canada on the world stage.
Last week, Rugby Canada announced its 32-player roster for the upcoming Americas Rugby Trophy event, a new 15-a-side event billed as a “three-country development competition” featuring Chile and Brazil in addition to Canada. Among the nearly three dozen players to make the cut are EMS alums Izzak Kelly and twins Takoda and Talon McMullin.
A fourth former Marriott star – Michael Smith – would have made the roster, too, had he not been busy at medical school, longtime EMS rugby coach Adam Roberts told Peace Arch News this week.
All three former Mariners now play at UBC, with Kelly also listed as a member of Bayside Rugby Club in the official release announcing Canada’s team.
The Americas Trophy event begins Oct. 21 in Mogi das Cruzes – city in the Sao Paulo region of Brazil. Canada will open with a game against Chile on Day 1 of the competition, and will play Brazil on Oct. 26.
“These games will give our up-and-coming players a taste of international competition, testing them against stronger opposition and bridging the gap from domestic rugby,” said Team Canada head coach Kingsley Jones.
“All players involved will gain valuable experience while allowing us to build our depth as we continue to prepare for the next Rugby World Cup qualification period.”
In the release, Jones notes that the roster is “a a balanced selection of veteran players with experience at the international level mixed with new, younger talent including players from the national U20 program, the Pacific Pride, Canada’s Senior Men’s 7s team and various Canadian universities.”
The McMullins are recent members of Canada’s U20 program and suited up for the team – which was coached by Roberts – at a U20 event in August against national U20 sides from Chile, Uruguay and Zimbabwe.