A basketball giant and a teenager will be at the centre of Canada's campaign to reach the Cup competition at the Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens and convince officials they should regain core-team status on the IRB Sevens World Series. Mitch Gudgeon, a 200cm basketballer who played for the University of Victoria, and 17-year-old Taylor Paris have been earmarked by new coach Morgan Williams as keys to Canada's bid for glory. 'Our aim is to get Canada back as a core team on the IRB Sevens Series and to do that we have to do well here in Hong Kong,' Williams said last night. 'We need to show the IRB we deserve a place and what better way than by reaching the Cup competition.' Canada, the first overseas group to arrive for the 24-team showpiece, were a core team three seasons ago and played in all eight legs of the series. But they lost their place, with the IRB deciding to bring in other sides such as Scotland, the US and Wales. Williams, a 15s scrumhalf who won 39 caps for Canada and played in three World Cups (1999, 2003 and 2007), was given the task of coaching the national sevens squad only in September, and half of his group will be playing in Hong Kong for the first time. With an eye on the Olympics in 2016, Williams is taking every opportunity to blood youngsters such as Paris, who scored his first try in the series just 10 seconds after getting on the field at the Wellington Sevens last month. 'I'm trying to give our youngsters, those who are in their teens and early 20s, as much exposure as possible for it will be these guys who will be around in 2016,' Williams said. Canada collected six points for reaching the Plate semi-finals in Wellington to force their way into the IRB standings. They will hope to collect more points in Hong Kong, but they will need to get past pool opponents Australia, Tonga and China first. 'The good thing is that we will be fresh. Australia and Tonga both played at the Adelaide Sevens and will be tired and I hope we can take them by surprise,' Williams said. 'We need to finish top of our pool, or as the best second-placed team to reach the Cup,'