VANCOUVER - British Columbia's Under-23 men's provincial team will scrum down against Scottish touring side St. Andrew's University at Brockton Oval on Wednesday evening. For the BC U23 representatives this will be their first match of a two game summer series, their second fixture currently scheduled for July 6th against Durham University. The roster features 23 of the province's top young players, representing nine different clubs across the British Columbia Rugby Union.
Match Information - Wed. June 13th, 2012
6:30pm British Columbia U23 vs St. Andrew's University (at Brockton Oval, Stanley Park)
Wednesday evening's fixture will be the first time a BC Under-23 squad has been assembled in over 20 years.
"This will be a great way of keeping many of the players that graduated from Provincial and Regional Age Grade teams involved in our programming, especially since there is no program between Under-20 and Senior Men's competitions," said BC U23 head coach Dave Brown. "It seemed appropriate that we should try and re-engage some of this group of players and also provide an opportunity for other players to get involved with our programs."
A number of the BC U23 reps have already played international rugby including Canada U20 Captain Harry Jones (Capilano RFC) and Canadian senior men's sevens capped speedster Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds). Captaining the U23 side on Wednesday will be Capilano standout Mike McDonald who will lead from the no. 8 position.
Three players on the roster have already played for British Columbia's senior men's provincial team during the 2011 Canadian Rugby Championship and have excelled in the Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League this past Spring. The trio include Meraloma standouts Bryan Tyrer and Brock Staller, as well as Abbotsford Captain Chris Chalmers.
Key players looking to establish themselves at the provincial level include Abbotsford tight head prop Aaron Flagg, Surrey's flanker James Kelley and UVic centre Doug Fraser. Fraser played a key roll in Vancouver Island Rising Tide's provincial Under-20 championship last summer when the regional side went undefeated to lift the Dunbar Keg.
Wednesday's roster includes five UVic Vikes, four Capilanos, three UBC Thunderbirds, three Meralomas, three Abbotsford reps, two Surrey Beavers as well as reps from James Bay, Kamloops and Burnaby Lake.
The BC squad will have their hands full against a St. Andrew's side looking to rebound from a 118-0 drubbing at the hands of the the Canadian Under-20 men's national team in Esquimalt last Saturday.
"St. Andrew's are one of the best university teams in Scotland and we have a great amount of respect for rugby in the UK," added Brown. "We expect them to be fit and have a very good understanding of the game. University sides do tend to try and be a bit more expansive in their approach to the game and we will certainly have to be prepared for that."
BC U23 roster vs St. Andrew's - June 13, 2012
1. Blake van Heyningen (James Bay Athletic Association)
2. Tom Pynn (Uvic Vikes)
3. Aaron Flagg (Abbotsford RFC)
4. Jonathon Hill (UBC Thunderbirds)
5. Shea Wakefield (Uvic Vikes)
6. James Kelly (Surrey Beavers AA)
7. Chris Chalmers (Abbotsford RFC)
8. Mike McDonald (Capilano RFC) - Captain
9. Lucas De Beer (Abbotsford RFC)
10. Harry Jones (Capilano RFC)
11. Vaughn Gaston (UVic Vikes)
12. Doug Fraser (UVic Vikes)
13. Brock Staller (Meraloma Rugby Club)
14. Jamie Beaton (Surrey Beavers AA)
15. Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds)
16. Alex Kam (UBC Thunderbirds)
17. Evan Mallory (Capilano RFC)
18. Jonah Woodward (Kamloops RFC)
19. Adam Zaruba (Capilano RFC)
20. Admir Cejvanovic ( Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
21. Bryan Tyrer (Meraloma Rugby Club)
22. Keaton Styles (UVic Vikes)
23. Buck Payne (Meraloma Rugby Club)
Head Coach - Dave Brown
Assistant Coach - Kas Futawatari
Manager - Laura MacKay