Canada’s Santiago 2023 rugby sevens teams announced
TORONTO (October 3, 2023) – Rugby Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s rugby sevens teams nominated to compete at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.
The Team Canada rugby sevens teams for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games are:
Alysha Corrigan (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) – #16 – CRFC
Caroline Crossley (Victoria, B.C.) – #35 – Castaways Wanderers
Chloe Daniels (Sutton, Ont.) – #77 – Aurora Barbarians / Queen’s University
Olivia De Couvreur (Ottawa, Ont.) – #1 – Ottawa Irish
Julia Greenshields (Sarnia, Ont.) – #5 – Sarnia Saints
Asia Hogan-Rochester (Toronto, Ont.) – #24 – Toronto Nomads RFC
Eden Kilgour (Barrie, Ont.) – #14 – Aurora Barbarians
Piper Logan (Calgary, Alta.) – #11 – Calgary Hornets / University of British Columbia
Breanne Nicholas (Blenheim, Ont.) – #4 – Kent Havoc RFC
Carissa Norsten (Waldheim, Sask.) – #19 – Kirin RFC / University of Victoria
Shalaya Valenzuela (Abbotsford, B.C.) – #23 – Abbotsford RFC
Charity Williams (Toronto, Ont.) – #6 – Markham Irish
Phil Berna (Vancouver, B.C.) – #4 – Vancouver Rowing Club
Jack Carson (Victoria, B.C.) – #99 – University of British Columbia
Elias Ergas (Vancouver, B.C.) – #11 – University of British Columbia
Ethan Hager (Brantford, Ont.) – #15 – Brantford Harlequins Rugby Club
Elias Hancock (Ottawa, Ont.) – #64 – Bytown Blues
Thomas Isherwood (Okotoks, Alta.) – #23 – Foothills Lions RFC
Lockie Kratz (Victoria, B.C.) – #44 – Castaway Wanderers / NOLA Gold
Matt Percillier (Victoria, B.C.) – #88 – University of British Columbia
David Richard (Milton, Ont.) – #12 – Mississauga Blues RFC
Kal Sager (Peterborough, Ont.) – #33 – Peterborough Pagans / Trent University
Jake Thiel (Victoria, B.C.) – #2 – James Bay AA
Brock Webster (Uxbridge, Ont.) – #7 – Oshawa Vikings RFC
Santiago 2023 will mark the start of a new season for Canada’s sevens teams, having last competed at Rugby Americas North (RAN) Sevens in Langford, B.C in August. At that event, Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team punched their ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with a dominant gold medal performance, while the men’s team placed second, advancing them to the Final Olympic Repechage Tournament – the last chance qualifier for Paris 2024.
Caroline Crossley, Olivia De Couvreur, Asia Hogan-Rochester and Breanne Nicholas return to defend Canada’s women’s rugby sevens title at the Pan Am Games, while Phil Berna looks to lead his team back to the Pan Am Games podium following a silver medal in 2019.
“I was with the team when we won the last Pan Am Games in Lima in 2019, and I am really looking forward to attending another Pan Am Games in Chile this time,” said Nicholas. “This tournament will be some of our teammates’ first senior international multi-sport Games, which I’m excited about, and they are also excited about. We will be taking our excitement from qualifying for the Olympics at the end of summer to these Pan Am Games, and this tournament will be a great opportunity for us to build leading up to this year’s SVNS Series and Olympics.”
Nicholas and Berna are two of five Olympians who will compete in Santiago, along with Tokyo 2020 Olympians Julia Greenshields, Charity Williams and Jake Thiel.
“I’m excited to get down to Santiago, Chile for the Pan Am Games. It’s my second Pan Ams – we came second in Lima back in 2019 so it would be good to do one better this year. Coming off a bit of a low this summer, it will be good to get some positive momentum going into HSBC SVNS and hopefully that carries us well into the Olympic qualifiers at the end of the season,” said Berna. “We’ve been building for a few years now, and this team has a lot of the same returning players, so it’s getting those guys more game time. We have a couple new faces in this Pan Ams mix and getting more experience is going to be huge for them. It’s a long season with a big goal at the end, so we need a lot of depth.”
Crossley returns to competition with Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team for the first time since 2019, with Williams also back in action following long-term injury recovery. Thiel and Matt Percillier both return for the first time since the 2023 Canada Sevens in March.
Set to make her debut with Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team is Carissa Norsten, a Maple Leaf Academy player and last year’s U SPORTS Rookie of the Year who shone this past summer with Canada’s U20 Women’s Rugby Team (15s).
Ethan Hager will compete in just his second tournament with Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team, having debuted at RAN Sevens in August where he put on an impressive performance and scored five tries.
“This is a great opportunity for us to use some of the depth that we created over the last year and the World Rugby Sevens Series. We had a really important summer getting the opportunity to play in our summer series against Hong Kong, Australia and Japan, and we are coming off the back of qualifying for the Olympics at RAN Sevens,” said Jack Hanratty, coach of Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team. “Only 12 players got to play at RAN Sevens, but it was a much bigger process involving a group of up to 32 senior players. Now, this is the 12 that we’re excited to have go and experience a multi-sport Games. Some have been to an Olympics before in our squad, but there’s a lot of players here who will get their first opportunity for a multi-sport Games, which is a really important experience as we get closer to the Olympics.”
“Pan Ams are an incredible multi-sport event. The inclusive and multicultural atmosphere of the Pan Am Athletes Village is one our athletes and staff will never forget,” said Sean White, coach of Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team and a member of Team Canada’s 2011 and 2015 Pan Am Games gold medal-winning teams. “Despite coming off a tough summer, we’re now given an opportunity to see how we rebound as a group. We will have players in different roles for this tournament, but what remains is a desire to narrow in and gain confidence in a style of play that represents the players on the field. This tournament will provide many of the same challenges and obstacles we will see on the SVNS Series and ultimately puts us one step closer to our end goal in July.”
Men’s rugby sevens joined the Pan American Games program at Guadalajara 2011, while the women’s game made its debut at Toronto 2015. The Canadian men’s team won gold at both Guadalajara 2011 and Toronto 2015, followed by silver at Lima 2019. The Canadian women’s team won gold at both Toronto 2015 and Lima 2019.
Rugby sevens will take place November 3 to 4 (Days 14 to 15) at the Estadio Municipal de La Pintana.
“It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome our fantastic rugby sevens teams to the Pan Am Games,” said Christine Girard, Team Canada’s Santiago 2023 Chef de Mission. “I’m excited to be able to witness their success as they leave their mark on the field and in the hearts of so many Canadians!”
Team Canada’s rugby sevens teams’ coaches and support staff for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games are:
Jack Hanratty (Halifax, N.S.) – Women’s Head Coach
Iain Monaghan (Victoria, B.C.) – Women’s Assistant Coach
Sean White (Victoria, B.C.) – Men’s Head Coach
Jennifer Joyce (Richmond, B.C.) – Women’s Strength & Conditioning Coach
Sebastian Pearson (Lindsay, Ont.) – Men’s Strength & Conditioning Coach
Danielle McNally (Hubbards, N.S.) – Women’s Physiotherapist
Andrew McMillan (Sudbury, Ont.) – Men’s Athletic Therapist
Richard Andrews (Northampton, England) – Lead Sevens Analyst
Alexandra Henry (Georgetown, Ont.) – Team Manager
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organisations.
The latest Team Canada Santiago 2023 roster can be found here.
Liz Montroy, Communications Manager
Tara MacBournie, Team Canada Santiago 2023 Sport Communications Lead
Canadian Olympic Committee