2018 CANADIAN RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP KICKS OFF ON FRIDAY IN CALGARY
2018 CANADIAN RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP KICKS OFF ON FRIDAY IN CALGARY
BC BEARS TEAM ANNOUNCED FOR CRC OPENER VS. PRAIRIE WOLF PACK
Vancouver, BC (July 14, 2018) –BC Rugby is proud to announce the BC Bears team ahead of their opening match in the 2018 Canadian Rugby Championships (CRCs), sponsored by Langara Fishing Adventures. Lead by Victoria’s Luke Campbell, the team will kick off the defence of their 2017 CRC title on the very pitch that they won the coveted MacTier Cup last summer. They will face Prairie Wolfpack, with the match will be hosted at Calgary Rugby Park on July 27 and is set to kick off at 7pm (MDT)/6pm (PT).
The BC Bears won last year’s CRC campaign with a flawless run, undefeated in the whole tournament, beating Ontario Blues in a nail-biting final by just a single point (30-29). Since then a number of the players in that 2017 team have gone on to play for their home clubs in an exciting BC Rugby Premier Men’s League, as well as take up roles in MLR and the Candian Men’s XVs in the America’s Rugby Championship (ARC) and the 2018 Summer International Test series. Having only played together in BC colours once since last summer, this opening match against Prairie Wolfpack will be a real eye-opener with what is a much-changed side from 2017.
While a core of nine players from last summer’s side remains (Paul Ahn, Noah Barker, Luke Campbell, Dustin Dobravsky, Giuseppe DuToit, Doug Fraser, Craig McLaughlin, Mike Nieuwenhuysen and Shea Wakefield), there are a number of new faces for this CRC season. That doesn’t mean they are entirely new to the BC Bears set up though, or indeed top level rugby.
Five of the named team have already played at the national level in 2018, including newly capped Jordan Sandover-Best (UBCOB Ravens) and Theo Sauder (UBC Thunderbirds). Eleven of the side were also part of the BC Bears team that won against the British RAF in June (the RAF having already defeated Prairie Wolfpack just days before). There are some rising talents as well, with Abbotsford’s Josh Thiel continuing to show that top-level rugby runs in the family. Theil played for Canada’s U20 Men’s XV team with his twin brother Jake and many will remember their dad Jon, who racked up 44 caps playing prop for the Maple Leafs. Josh is joined by Liam Murray, Steven Ng and Fraser Hurst, all of whom had the honour of playing for the BC U23 Men’s XV earlier this year when taking on Canada’s Men’s U20 XV in an exhibition match at Abbotsford in May.
BC Bears coach Jebb Sinclair was cautiously optimistic when discussing this year’s CRC tournament. “We’re lucky to have rugby action in BC year round, so we hope to use that experience to our advantage when facing opponents who have to sit out the winter season”. It’s not all been straightforward though, as Sinclair noted, “These guys are so used to being opponents in club leagues for most of the year, so they have to adapt to working side by side. The RAF match was a real plus for us, not only in terms of game time but as an opportunity to get things out of the system and start to build a strong team dynamic.”
Looking beyond the first match, the BC Bears will play a return leg against Prairie Wolfpack, this time on home soil at Klahanie Park in North Vancouver on August 3, KO 7pm (PT). This will be the only opportunity for fans to see the BC Bears playing in the Province this summer, and the significance of that is not lost on the players either. “For a lot of these guys, this is still a huge honor to pull on Provincial colours”, remarked Sinclair, “Only one game at home means the pressure will be on in that match to put in a really great performance, not just for the team but for friends, family and fans”.
For the opening match, those unable to travel to Calgary to see the action live on Jul 27 can catch the game on live stream via Rugby Canada (details TBC). For up to date information on the CRCs tournament, check out the official site here.
BC Bears Roster
1. Noah Barker - James Bay AA (Courtney, BC) 2. Steven NG - James Bay AA (Ottawa, ON) 3. Clint Lemkus - UBC Thunderbirds (Cape Town, SA) 4. Craig McLaughlin - Burnaby Lake RFC (Burnaby, BC) 5. Shea Wakefield - James Bay AA (Victoria, BC) 6. Dustin Dobravsky - Castaway Wanderers RFC (Hanover, Germany) 7. Ollie Nott - Uvic Vikes (Victoria, BC) 8. Luke Campbell - James Bay AA (Victoria, BC) Captain 9. Jordan Sandover - Best - UBCOB Ravens RFC (Abbotsford, BC) 10. Theo Sauder - UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC) 11. Fraser Hurst - UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC) 12. Guissepie DuToit - Uvic Vikes (Victoria, BC) 13. Doug Fraser - Castaway Wanderers RFC (Victoria, BC) 14. Mike Nieuwenhuysen - James Bay AA (Victoria, BC) 15. Josh Thiel - Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC) 16. Paul Ahn - UBCOB Ravens (Vancouver, BC) 17. John Braddock - Castaway Wanderers RFC (Victoria, BC) 18. Liam Murray - James Bay AA (Langley, BC) 19. Nathan Stewart - Castaway Wanderers RFC (Victoria, BC) 20. Connor McCann - Meralomas Rugby Club (Belleville, ON) 21. James Pitblado - Uvic Vikes (Victoria, BC) 22. Clayton Meeres - James Bay AA (Chilliwack, BC) 23. Jared Douglas - Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)
Coach - Dean Murten (Vancouver, BC) Coach - Jebb Sinclair (Vancouver, BC) Coach - Scott Manning (Victoria, BC) Coach - Mario Domingues (Vancouver, BC) Coach - Angel Cividanes (White Rock, BC) Manager - Des Lynch (Victoria, BC)
WOLF PACK KICK OFF 2018 CRC SEASON AGAINST THE REIGNING CHAMPION BC BEARS
CALGARY (July 25, 2018) –The Wolf Pack are coming off a pre-season exhibition series against challenging opposition, including matches against the Utah Warriors and the Seattle Seawolves of Major League Rugby. The Wolfpack closed the exhibition series losing 30-26 to the Royal Airforce Rugby Union. “The 2018 pre- season was very demanding and really provided our coaching staff with the opportunity to see our players against very strong competition,” said Jim Kazakoff, manager of the Wolf Pack. “We saw improvement throughout the series and we are well prepared for the upcoming CRC matches,” added Kazakoff.
The 2018 Canadian Rugby Championship competition — featuring the Atlantic Rock, BC Bears, Ontario Blues and Prairie Wolf Pack —has the Wolf Pack Playing the 2017 CRC Champion BC Bears in a home and home series. The Wolfpack’s first match will be on Friday, July 27, 2018, when they host the BC Bears at the Calgary Rugby Park (9025 Shepard Road, SE, Calgary) with a 7:00 pm kickoff, gates open at 6:00 PM.
The Rock and the Blues will also engage in a home and home series. These home and home matches will determine seeding for the championship round as all four teams will travel to Calgary for the semifinals and finals matches. The Semifinals will take place on Thursday, August 23, 2018 and the Championship and Bronze medal matches will take place on Sunday, August 26, 2018. All matches will be played at the Calgary Rugby Park, 9025 Shepard Road SE, Calgary, AB.
1. Hubert Buydens - Saskatoon Wild Oats / NOLA Gold 2. Gabrial Kajdy - Calgary Canucks 3. Ryan Kotlewski - Calgary Saints / Westshore RFC 4. Conor Turner - Calgary Hornets 5. Riley Fahlman - Regina Champion Grads 6. Jordan Roberts - St. Albert RFC 7. James O’Neill - Calgary Canucks / University of Victoria 8. Grant Crowell - Calgary Rams 9. Mark Discombe - Regina Rouges 10. Gradyn Bowd – Red Deer Titians / University of Victoria 11. Cole Davis - Calgary Saints 12. Nick Blevins - Calgary Hornets 13. Ben LeSage - Calgary Canucks / UBC 14. Jake Bentley - Calgary Canucks 15. Cam Hall Strathcona Druids 16. Tyler Rockwell - Bow Valley 17. Gareth Brown - Nor’Westers 18. Logan Jones - Calgary Canucks 19. Joshua Pritchett - Calgary Rams 20. FJ Bronkhorst - Calgary Canucks 21. Robbie Povey - Calgary Hornets 22. Evan Thomas - LeprechaunTigers 23. Mozac Samson - Calgary Saints / Seattle Seawolves
Head Coach: Col Jeffs Coaches: Tyler Hawes, Simon Dodd, Jeremy Kyne Manager: Jim Kazakoff Assistant Manager; Jo Reinbold Athletic Therapists: Nichole Ainsworth, Charlotte Van Audenrode
ABOUT THE WOLF PACK:
The Prairie Wolf Pack is a Canadian rugby union team representing the Prairies region in the Canadian Rugby Championship, which is the highest level of domestic rugby competition in Canada. The Team primarily draws players from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The Wolf Pack won the MacTier Cup in 2015 before a home crowd.
For more information:
Kevin Blanchette?Communications, Rugby Week in Calgary Cell: 403.607.1156?E-mail: email@example.com