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03.07.2018 11:52
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Its been a whirlwind start for Liam Middleton as coach of the Canadian mens rugby sevens side. Detroit Lions Jerseys .Appointed in late September, the Zimbabwe-born coach didnt make it to Victoria until two weeks ago because of immigration red tape.Essentially Middleton had a week to work with his players on the West Coast before flying out to Dubai for Fridays start of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, the second stop on the HSBC Sevens World Series.It did mean I got some sessions in with the guys and weve had a couple here in Dubai so far, said Middleton, taking the glass half-full view. I think it was probably enough time to get integrated in the squad. Any less would have been a little bit of a challenge.But Im happy with a week with the guys. A bit more would have been nice. It was just good to get there and get to these tournaments.After Dubai, the teams head to South Africa for a Dec. 13-14 tournament.Middleton previously served as the Zimbabwe sevens coach and director of rugby at the Zimbabwe Rugby Union. He also coached in England with second-tier Bristol and Hartpury College.The 37-year-old Middleton has big shoes to fill.Canada had a breakthrough season in 2013-14 when it finished sixth on the circuit under Welsh coach Geraint John, who subsequently quit to take over the Australian sevens program. Under John, Canada reached the final in Glasgow and placed third in Las Vegas.The stakes are raised this season with the top four teams earning automatic qualification for the 2016 Olympics, where rugby sevens makes its debut.Should Canada not crack the top four, it still has two more chances to make the 12-team Olympic field. One team will qualify from a North American and Caribbean regional tournament with another coming out of a last-ditch 16-team world playoff.Middleton missed the first event of the season in Australia in October when Canada placed 13th in the absence of the injured Nanyak Dala, Nathan Hirayama, Phil Mack, Mike Scholz and Sean White. Canada went 0-3-0 in its pool but the losses were all by small margins: 17-15 to the U.S., 14-12 to Argentina and 19-12 to England.Middleton also has to contend with injuries in Dubai. Dala (facial injury), Hirayama (shoulder), Harry Jones (groin) and Liam Underwood (concussion) are all out while Ciaran Hearn is being rested after the November 15-man tour.Well be in a similar boat, he said of his roster. But I dont think its a bad thing for us to try and open up our squad a little bit as we build over the next couple of years.Canada, which is in a challenging pool with South Africa, Wales and Portugal, features five players who have never played in Dubai before.On the plus side, the speedy Mack is back in the sevens squad.Hes a phenomenal rugby player. A phenomenal sevens player, said Middleton, who has been to the Dubai event seven times. Hes added a fair bit of leadership and hes also give us some creativity in the midfield which we need. Particularly with Harry Jones not being in the squad with us.While Middleton travels to Dubai and South Africa, wife Sarah and sons Struan (two) and Ethan (nine months) will be settling in the Victoria area with Langford, home to Rugby Canadas Centre of Excellence, their likely final settling point.So far he likes what he sees.I think its fantastic. The scenery is phenomenal and weve felt very welcome in the Langford area.Canada RosterAdmir Cejvanovic, Burnaby Lake RFC, Vancouver; Justin Douglas, Abbotsford RFC, Abbotsford, B.C.; Sean Duke, UVIC Vikes, Vancouver; Mike Fuailefau, Castaway Wanderers, Victoria; Lucas Hammond, Toronto Nomads, Toronto; Pat Kay, UVIC Vikes, Duncan, B.C.; Phil Mack, James Bay AA, Victoria; John Moonlight (capt.), James Bay AA, Pickering, Ont.; Jack Smith, James Bay AA, Lakefield, Ont.; Conor Trainor, UBCOB Ravens, Vancouver; Sean White, James Bay AA; Victoria; Adam Zaruba, Capilano RFC, Vancouver.Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter Frank Ragnow Lions Jersey .Y. - Joe Johnson hit six 3-pointers in his 27 points, Mason Plumlee added 18 points, and the Brooklyn Nets won their 11th straight at home, beating the Boston Celtics 114-98 Friday night. Frank Ragnow Jersey .com) - The Calgary Flames are spoilers once again. .C. -- Theyll remember the OT from the first Syracuse-Duke game -- and the Ts that decided Round 2. NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks had old faces on the floor and a new look to their arena. Only Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Bobcats kept it from being a completely successful night. Walker scored 18 points and made the tiebreaking basket with 1:31 remaining as the Bobcats spoiled the Knicks return to Madison Square Garden with an 85-83 preseason victory Friday night. Walker finished with nine rebounds and six assists as the Bobcats wrapped up a 5-3 preseason. Josh McRoberts had 19 points and nine rebounds, Gerald Henderson scored 18 points and Bismack Biyombo grabbed 20 rebounds in what Walker said was a "huge" victory for Charlotte. "It shows us that we can play because the Knicks didnt just give us that game, we worked for that game," he said. "So it shows us that we can go out there and compete with the best of them." Carmelo Anthony scored 13 points but shot 4 of 17, missing a potential tying jumper in the final seconds. The Knicks had a 19-point lead in the first half but then missed 18 of 22 shots in the third quarter. They regained the lead on Anthonys jumper with 2:26 remaining before Walker made consecutive high-arching jumpers in the lane, the second making it 85-83 with 1:31 to play. It was the Knicks lone home game on the final night of the NBAs preseason schedule. Madison Square Gardeen reopened Thursday after completion of its $1 billion renovation that spanned the last three offseasons, featuring a giant new videoboard, two overhead bridges with views of the court and an expanded entrance from Seventh Ave. Custom Detroit Lions Jerseys. The Knicks played six road games while the work was completed, which Anthony said was difficult. They will practice here Saturday and open their season here Wednesday against Milwaukee. "We never really got a chance to adjust here during the preseason, but thats over," Anthony said. "Now the real deal starts and this journey begins." J.R. Smith and Amare Stoudemire both made their preseason debuts after working their way back from knee surgeries. Smith scored 11 points and Stoudemire had six points on 3-of-4 shooting, both reserves playing limited minutes. Smith will miss the first five regular-season games while serving a suspension for violating the NBAs anti-drug program, but Stoudemire said hes ready to go after recovering from his third knee surgery in the last year. "I feel great. I feel strong," he said. "I feel no soreness right now after the game, so Im sure Ill be ready for go for Wednesday." Second-year forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist missed the game for Charlotte after straining his right hamstring Thursday against Cleveland. 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