Meet the 2019 Irregulars!

You know those scenes at the beginning of such films as Ocean's Eleven or The Dirty Dozen, where a motley crew of criminals are brought together to perform an impossible job? Well running a Rugby 7s Invitational team is just like that!

My bunch of 'criminals' come from 4 continents and collectively will be flying 209,200 KM getting to and from the tournament. (Yup, I sat and worked that out!). To paraphrase Liam Neeson in Taken, they all have a "Unique set of skills". But firstly, a mention of the players who have served us well in the past. From our humble start in 2015 with a few lads out of Kurdistan mixed with a few Canadians, we have worked hard to get better and better every year. There are a few players that through injury or school commitments that we would have liked to have with us and we hope they will be back in contention for selection next year.

So onto the 2019 Irregulars. Our Joint Captain's this year are Scott Browne and Miguel Palomino. Scott is a flyhalf by trade and plays for Metz Moselle in France. He is the current International 10 for the Luxembourg National team who most recently defeated a Sweden team 14 places ahead of them in the world rankings 13-0.

Miguel Palomino is the Captain and halfback for the Ottawa Beavers who play in FRQ 2 in Canada. Mig is one of those guys who excel in all sports having played football (I'm not going to call it Soccer!), and he even played for Mexico at Ice Hockey!

Two of Ronan's former teammates at Stirling University are Kyle Browne and Stuart Allison. It is Kyle's second Dubai 7s. He also played in 2017. He is the starting 10 for Stirling University and is also now part of a Stirling County RFC team playing in the Tennent's National League Division 1. Stuart Allison is a mobile and skilful back-row forward who plays for Watsonians RFC in the same division. In 2016, Stuart played for Edinburgh in the U20 Regional select team.

Flying in from Columbus, Ohio is Christian Olsen. I first watched Christian playing for the Luxembourg International 7s team where his line breaks and strength made him a standout. He is currently playing for Notre Dame in the US Collegiate league.

Completing our trio of Luxembourg international players is Josh van Zeeland. Josh is a full back/centre who played for Cardiff University and is now playing regularly for RC Luxembourg in the German Leagues. He has strong running skills and is a great reader of the game.

Next we a trio of Beaver Boys from Ottawa. Kyle Gunn is a utility back. One of the fittest players you will find, who can play any position in the backs and can even deputise in the line out. It will be Kyle's 3rd Dubai 7s. More notably, he also fitted my kitchen. Let's hope his lines of running are straighter than my cabinets. Jacob Cummer joins us for the second time. He can play scrummy, wing or full back. He's fast and has a wicked step on him. Completing the Beaver Trio is Pierre Hardy Gouombas. Pierre is lightning fast and has been a stand out since his time at St.Peters Catholic High School in Orleans. In 2018, he starred for Canada U18 in a three-game series win in Hong Kong.

Next up is one of our new lads Ronan Kerr. Ronan was recently selected for the new FOSROC Super Six team the Boroughmuir Bears and was capped by Scotland at U20s level where his teammates included Scotland stars Darcy Graham and Matt Fagerson.

Dawson Fatoric joins us again from Barrhaven Scottish. Dawson was a standout performer in the 2018 Dubai 7s, scoring a barrel load of tries. When he's not playing rugby, he can be found flexing his muscles doing fitness and lifestyle videos on YouTube. A genuinely awful dresser, but one hell of a rugby player. My wife told me to pick him, not sure what that's all about?

And last but by no means least we have Steven McLean. Steve is our only player to have won an event at the Dubai 7s with the hugely successful Speranza 22 team. Speranza 22 was set up to honour the memory of Marco Speranza who tragically died in a plane crash in 2013. Steve will again pay tribute to his friend by wearing the number 22 at this years event.

Well, if you're still with me that's the team for 2019. I'll be coaching again. It's always my honour to coach such a great bunch of lads making their way in the game. If I were 20 years younger I would have my boots on, but one thing is for sure, I wouldn't get in the team!

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