VANCOUVER – BC Rugby is proud to announce the BC Bears team ahead of their remaining matches in the 2017 Canadian Rugby Championships (CRC), sponsored by Langara Fishing Adventures. Led by Canadian and BC stalwarts Phil Mack and Anthony Luca, the team has already secured one victory in this year’s championship and are looking for more. Rugby Park in Calgary will host the remaining matches Aug. 13-19, with BC keen to dethrone the reigning champion Ontario Blues.
The BC Bears kicked off their CRC campaign with a comprehensive victory over the Wolf Pack, winning 43-0 on home soil at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium in front of a vocal crowd. They will now set their sights on overhauling Atlantic Rock Aug. 13 (3pmET/12pmPT) before a crunch match with 2016 champions Ontario Blues Aug. 16 (7pmET/4pmPT).
The squad chosen to fly to Calgary contains 19 of the 23 players who took part in the Bears 43-0 opening day win over the Prairie Wolf Pack. Included in that list are Brock Staller, who claimed a hat trick against the Wolf Pack, catalytic scrum half Phil Mack and powerhouse Anthony Luca. New additions to the lineup include Dustin Dubrovsky, Blake Van Heningen, Karsten Laitner, Kimi Vuratunuga, Noah Barker, Rylie Darnardo, Shea Wakefield, Kevin Leask and Tua Va'a.
Canada Senior Men's Team players Mack and Luca will bring an extra element of experience and composure to the squad off the back of the test series games against Romania, Georgia and USA in June. With a further seven players hailing from the BC Rugby Men's Premier League 2017 Champions, UBC Thunderbirds, there is no question the squad is well equipped to deal with the pressure and expectation going into next week.
“We are excited to get to Calgary and compete,” said Mack, who is a BC Bears assistant coach and player. “We are looking to build off the back of our first game and feel we have put ourselves in that position. The team have put a lot of work in and are eager to showcase what BC rugby is about. We know that if we stick to our processes that the results will take care of themselves.”
The standings through each team’s three-match schedule will dictate who will compete in the final, to be held on Aug. 19. The BC Bears haven’t laid their hands on the MacTier Cup, awarded to the CRC winners, since 2009.
BC Bears Squad Paul Ahn - Vancouver, BC, UBC Thunderbirds RFC Noah Baker - Victoria, BC, James Bay AA Luke Campbell - Victoria, BC, James Bay AA Neil Courtney - Vancouver, BC, UBC Thunderbirds RFC Rylie Darnardo - Victoria, BC, Castaway Wanderers RFC Dustin Dubrovsky - Victoria, BC, Castaway Wanderers RFC Giusseppe DuToit - Victoria, BC, UVIC Vikes RFC Doug Fraser - Victoria, BC, Castaway Wanderers RFC Harjun Gill - Vancouver, BC, UBCOB Ravens RFC Andrew Lackner - Pitt Meadows, BC, Burnaby Lake RFC Karsten Laitner - Vancouver, BC, UBC Thunderbirds RFC Travis Larsen - Victoria, BC, James Bay AA Kevin Leask - Victoria, BC, UVIC Vikes RFC Anthony Luca - Pitt Meadows, BC, Burnaby Lake RFC Phil Mack - Victoria, BC, James Bay AA Craig McLaughlin - Burnaby, BC, Burnaby Lake RFC Aaron McLelland - Vancouver, BC, UBCOB Ravens RFC Mike Nieuwenhuysen - Victoria, BC, James Bay AA Nakai Penny - Comox, BC, UBC Thunderbirds RFC Cam Polson - Victoria, BC, Castaway Wanderers RFC Jordan Reid-Harvey - Vancouver, BC, Capilano RFC Gavin Rowell - Abbotsford, BC, UVIC Vikes RFC Brock Staller - Vancouver, BC, UBC Thunderbirds RFC Tua Va'a - Victoria, BC, Westshore RFC Blake Van Heningen - Victoria, BC, James Bay AA Kimi Vuratunuga - Vancouver, BC, Burnaby Lake RFC Shea Wakefield - Victoria, BC, James Bay AA Connor Weyell - Vancouver, BC, UBC Thunderbirds RFC
Staff Tony Healy - Head Coach Phil Mack - Assistant Coach Des Lynch - Manager/Mental Skills Coach
BC Bears – Canadian Rugby Championship Schedule July 14 – BC Bears 43 Prairie Wolf Pack 0 August 13 – BC Bears vs. Atlantic Rock – 5pm ET/2pm PT August 16 – BC Bears vs. Ontario Blues – 7pm ET/4pm PT August 19 – BC Bears vs TBD
Canadian Rugby Championship – Past Champions 2016 - Ontario Blues 2015 - Prairie Wolf Pack 2014 - Ontario Blues 2013 - Ontario Blues 2012 - Ontario Blues 2011 - Ontario Blues 2010 - Atlantic Rock 2009 - BC Bears