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ONTARIO BLUES ANNOUNCE 2015 CRC ROSTER
Friday, June 19, 2015 - Submitted by Brock Smith
(TORONTOON) – The four-time defending Canadian Rugby Championship title holders Ontario Blues have named their squad ahead of next week’s Canadian Rugby Championship opener against the Atlantic Rock.
 
Eleven Ontario rugby clubs are represented on the Blues’ 23-man CRC roster, which features 17 returnees from the side that won last year’s MacTier Cup.
 
“We’re happy to welcome back our MacTier Cup-winning core to the Blues, who have worked so hard to develop a sustained culture of success for our provincial program,” said Blues head coach Chris Silverthorn. “We’re also quite pleased to see a couple of established professionals return to the Blues as they prepare for the Rugby World Cup, who will be playing alongside a few of our development side grads who have proven they’re ready to make the leap into the CRC.”
 
Highlighting the list of Blues returnees is long-standing provincial captain Derek Daypuck. The 37-year-old Rugby World Cup alumnus has led Ontario to four consecutive national titles, and will play among a wealth of international experience: no less than 14 Blues players have been capped at the Canada or Canada ‘A’ levels, while many more have received Canada U20 honours.
 
“In all my years involved in the Blues program, competition for roster spots has never been as heated, and it’s pushed our athletes to take their game to the next level,” added Silverthorn. “With this year’s CRC being played much earlier than usual, our guys have worked very hard in training to make everything click. They’re hungry to get back out on the pitch.”
 
Many of Ontario’s fresh faces are no strangers to Canada’s international rugby scene, with the provincial side bolstered by the inclusion of national team regulars Aaron Carpenter and Phil Mackenzie. The professional duo is joined by two Canada U20 standouts: national captain and reigning Rugby Canada Men's Young Player of the Year Lucas Rumball, and second-row man Paul Ciulini, who helped guide Canada to a second-place finish at the recent World Rugby Under 20 Trophy.
 
“Being able to add the talent and experience of Aaron and Phil will serve as a huge boost to our side,” said Blues manager Mark Winokur. “Not only will they bring an incredible amount of skill to the pitch, but their ability to help mentor up-and-comers like Lucas and Paul is invaluable.”
 
The Blues have played two exhibition games this season, downing the Atlantic Rock 40-19 in Halifax, shortly before defeating American Rugby Premiership side New York Old Blue 43-31 in Toronto.
 
Ontario’s senior provincial side will kick off their abbreviated CRC campaign with a June 28 tilt against Eastern Canadian rivals Atlantic Rock in Calgary, Alta.
 
All 2015 CRC matches will be live streamed at this link:  http://livestream.com/rugbycanadaofficial

Ontario Blues Canadian Rugby Championship Squad
 
FORWARDS
*Ray Barkwill (Niagara Wasps)
*Rob Brouwer (Lindsay RFC)
Aaron Carpenter (Brantford Harlequins/Cornish Pirates)
Paul Ciulini (Aurora Barbarians)
*Alistair Clark (Bay Street RFC)
*Tom Dolezel (London St. George’s)
*Scott Dunham (Balmy Beach)
*Hank McQueen (Balmy Beach)
*Seb Pearson (London St. George’s)
*Lucas Rumball (Balmy Beach)
Djustice Sears-Duru (Oakville Crusaders)
Mike Sheppard (Brampton Beavers)
*Doug Wooldridge (Lindsay RFC)
 
BACKS
*Josh Campbell (London St. George’s)
*Derek Daypuck (London St. George’s), Captain
*Andrew Ferguson (Oakville Crusaders)
*Jamie Mackenzie (Oakville Crusaders)
Phil Mackenzie (Oakville Crusaders/Sale Sharks)
*Dan Moor (Balmy Beach) 
*Jake Webster (Lindsay RFC)
Jon West (Aurora Barbarians)
*Jordan Wilson-Ross (Barrie RFC)
*Shawn Windsor (Stoney Creek)
 
NON-TRAVELLING RESERVES
*Andrew Coe (Markham Irish)
Matt Mullins (Belleville Bulldogs)
 
*Denotes member of 2014 MacTier Cup-winning Ontario Blues roster
 
Ontario Blues Canadian Rugby Championship Program Staff
Chris Silverthorn – Program Head Coach
Paul Connelly – Senior Team Assistant Coach
Mark Winokur – Program Manager
Rodin Lozada – Performance Analyst
Chris Kelly – Athletic Therapist
 
Ontario Blues 2015 Match Schedule:
 
ONTARIO BLUES 40 @ ATLANTIC ROCK 19
Saturday, May 16, 2015
7:00 p.m. ADT; 6:00 p.m. EDT
Huskies Stadium, Halifax, N.S.
 
NEW YORK OLD BLUE 31 @ ONTARIO BLUES 43
Saturday, May 23, 2015
6:00 p.m. EDT
Birchmount Stadium, Toronto, Ont.
 
ONTARIO BLUES v. ATLANTIC ROCK
Sunday, June 28, 2015
1:00 p.m. MDT; 3:00 p.m. EDT
Calgary Rugby Park, Calgary, Alta.
 
ONTARIO BLUES v. BRITISH COLUMBIA BEARS or PRAIRIE WOLF PACK
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
11:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. MDT / 1:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. EDT
Calgary Rugby Park, Calgary, Alta.
 
ONTARIO BLUES v. AMERICAN RUGBY PREMIERSHIP SELECTS
Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015
6:15 p.m. EDT
Twin Elm Rugby Park, Ottawa, Ont.
 
About Rugby Ontario:
 
Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to promote, govern, and develop rugby at all levels in a safe, affordable and enjoyable environment within the province of Ontario.
 
For more information, visit http://www.rugbyontario.com/
 
About Ontario Blues:
 
The Ontario Blues program is the high performance representative program for male rugby players in Ontario. It is designed to develop and showcase male athletes for Canadian national teams.
 
The senior team represents Ontario in the annual Canadian Rugby Championship, and has earned four straight national titles, having won the competition’s MacTier Cup annually from 2011-2014.
 
The development team represents Ontario at the annual under-19 men’s Canadian Rugby Championship, and is designed to develop and showcase male athletes for the under-20 national team, as well as serving as a feeder program for the Ontario Blues senior team.
 
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For more information, please contact: 
 
Brock Smith
Communications Coordinator
Rugby Ontario
Office: 416 426-7049
bsmith@rugbyontario.com
 
For all the latest information follow us:
 
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