Cowichan’s Evans joins Kay on national 7s team

After reaching the semifinals of the Plate Competition at the London Sevens last weekend, Cowichan Valley products Pat Kay and Matt Evans and the Canadian men’s rugby sevens team finished ninth out of 22 participating nations in the 2014/15 Sevens World Series.

Kay was a member of the team throughout the season, while Evans, a veteran of the national XV team and professional player with the Cornish Pirates of the RFU Championship, joined Canada for the final stop of the World Series.

Neither Kay nor Evans was part of the scoring in London.

Canada opened with a 17-14 win over Samoa, then beat Argentina 26-5. That was followed by three consecutive losses: 31-14 to topranked Fiji, 29-10 to the U.S., and 33-15 to New Zealand.

A week earlier, at the Glasgow Sevens, Kay scored a try to give Canada a 12-7 lead over Scotland in the Plate semifinal. Scotland managed to score again as time expired, and kicked the winning points on the conversion.

Kay was part of the Canadian team that finished fourth at the Tokyo Sevens in April, picking up an historic 19-15 win over New Zealand in the process.

The top four teams from the 2014/15 World Series (Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand and England) all qualified for the 2016 Olympics, where rugby sevens will make its debut. Canada still has chances to qualify for the Olympics through the North American Sevens Championships and final Olympic qualification tournament.

The Canadian women’s sevens team, which includes 2014 Shawnigan Lake School graduate Hannah Darling, has all but locked up an Olympic berth, sitting comfortably among the top four teams in the World Series standings with one event left, next weekend in Amsterdam.

The Canadian women lost an agonizingly close Cup final 20-17 to Australia at the London Sevens last weekend.