Rugby’s Team Canada adds Marauder Maroon

Two McMaster alumni have been selected to represent their country at this fall’s Rugby World Cup.

Among the 30 athletes chosen by Rugby Canada to the senior national team are former Marauders Aaron Carpenter and Mike Scholz, who also served as an assistant coach on McMaster’s 2010 Ontario University Athletics championship team.

Current Marauder Tyler Ardron, who recently captained Canada’s under-20 team at the Junior World Cup in the Republic of Georgia, and another former McMaster star, Mike Pletch, were included in the original Canadian player pool of 50, from which the final roster was selected.

This will be the second venture onto the world stage for Team Canada veteran Carpenter, having previously represented Canada at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.

This will be the first World Cup for Scholz, who, since recovering from shoulder surgery he underwent in 2010, has played for the Canadian 15-man squad, as well as in sevens (7s) competition.

McMaster Coach Phil White says the announcement is great news for the Marauder program, “We are extremely proud of the fact that we produce so many players for our Senior National Men’s Team, more than any other Ontario university. It’s indicative that we are doing the right things at McMaster in the process of developing world-class rugby players.”

The Marauder Coach also praised Ardron for bursting on the national radar so early in his career, “Tyler is one of Canada’s most improved players over the last 12 months. His combination of speed, size and recent top form has catapulted him onto the senior national program at a very young age.” Ardron will enter his third-year at McMaster this fall, looking to lead the Marauders defense of the OUA championship.

The 2011 Rugby World Cup will be held in several cities in New Zealand, from Sept. 10 to Oct. 22, Canada will compete in Pool A, which includes: France, Japan, Tonga, and the hosts from New Zealand. The opening game for Team Canada will be versus Tonga on Sept. 14 in Whangarei.