Rugby

Ontario’s junior rugby teams hitting Las Vegas


LVILogo(TORONTO, ON) – The Golden Horseshoe will have a strong presence for the upcoming Las Vegas Invitational Sevens rugby tournament which will feature Ontario’s five junior provincial men’s and women’s teams. The tournament is the second major one of the Ontario junior provincial program’s 2014-2015 rugby sevens season.

Taking place in Las Vegas from Feb. 12-14, the Las Vegas Invitational Sevens tournament will see all five Ontario sides face competition from top American club and school teams, as well as club and regional teams from Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta. The tournament, played just a short drive from the iconic Las Vegas Strip, is the largest amateur rugby competition in North America, with more than 250 teams participating in 27 divisions.

Three Central Ontario-based sides, along with two that train in Eastern Ontario, will represent Ontario’s junior provincial rugby sevens program at the tournament: both regions are sending an under-18 men’s side and an under-18 women’s side, with Central Ontario also providing an under-16 men’s side. The travelling athletes exemplify the province’s diverse pool of talent, with ­­­26 Ontario rugby clubs represented on the five teams.

The High School Boys Elite division features three four-team pools, with teams that include defending champions High School All-Americans, British Columbia’s top provincial side, and regional sides from Toronto (Toronto Rugby Union), Oakville (Upright Rugby Academy), California, Colorado, Utah, and Washington. The U18 Junior Blues and U18 East Junior Blues will need top-eight pool finishes in order to secure a berth in the division’s Cup quarterfinals.

The High School Girls division boasts six four-team pools, with teams that include defending champions British Columbia, along with regional sides from Toronto (Toronto Rugby Union), Oakville (Upright Rugby Academy), Edmonton, and numerous American states. Similar to the boys’ division, the U18 Junior Storm and U18 East Junior Storm will each need a top-eight pool finish in order to guarantee a spot in the division’s Cup quarterfinals.

The Boys U16 division features two five-team pools, with the U16 Junior Blues likely to face teams from Alberta, British Columbia, Utah and Texas. The young Ontario side requires a top-four pool finish to clinch a division Cup semi-final appearance.

Each team will play a minimum of three pool matches, and will participate in a fourth or fifth match upon qualification for their respective Cup or Bowl rounds.

The U18 Junior Blues enter the Las Vegas Invitational Sevens tournament looking to improve on last year’s third-place finish, while the U18 Junior Storm are looking to build on their Bowl semi-final appearance in 2014.

The Eastern Ontario-based provincial teams will be making their first appearance at the Las Vegas Invitational Sevens tournament; both sides have already developed a taste for silverware, with the U18 East Junior Blues and U18 East Junior Storm earning respective Plate and Bowl trophies at November’s New York Sevens tournament.

The Las Vegas Invitational Sevens tournament also represents the first-ever major competition for the U16 Junior Blues.

For more information regarding the Las Vegas Invitational Sevens tournament, please visit: http://www.usasevens.com/las-vegas/las-vegas-invitational/

Players from the Golden Horseshoe include:

U18 Ontario Junior Storm Sevens: Jordyn Orlando (Burlington Centaurs).
U18 Ontario Junior Blues Sevens: Cameron Sandison (Oakville Crusaders)
U16 Ontario Junior Blues Sevens: Jacob Bridge (North Halton Highlanders); Dominic Johnson (Oakville Crusaders); Nathan Jutronich (Oakville Crusaders); and Jack Shaw (Oakville Crusaders)

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