The Tsunami Rugby Academy is hoping they take a big leap in their development this season.
They are in the process of working out their U-16 and U-18 boys teams at May Bennett Pioneer Park in Nanaimo and at the Cowichan Rugby Club in Duncan as they prepare this year's club for the Provincial Rugby Championships.
Early this spring they made a change to start bringing the team together on a more regular basis through clinics so they can grow together as one team and become a true threat at provincials. Now that the high school season is over, they are amping up those training sessions, meeting twice a week, and the development is already evident among those coming out.
"Last year we were coaching the basics - how to lift and how to line out - and this year they learned those in the clinics, so this year we can progress faster with the team skills rather than the individual skills," said U-16 coach Mike Rea.
The Tsunami are made up of players from across the North Island - from Shawnigan Lake to Campbell River - and Nanaimo is making up a big part of those teams with roughly one third coming from the Hub City.
One such player is Nanaimo winger Seth Recalma, 15. He was part of the U-16 program last year and is also currently involved in the selection process for Team B.C.
"(Last year) was really good, it showed me the level I need to step up to be to be a better player and make it to the better teams," said Recalma who plays for Nanaimo District Secondary School. "(The Tsunami) is introducing a lot of players to a high level of rugby."
They currently have between 15 and 20 coming out for each team through three practices, and U-18 coach Dave Ward, also of Nanaimo, says there is still time for players to join the team.
Most played high school rugby on the Island, which ended on June 2. These players just spent the spring beating on each other on the field, and the trick is now to get them all on the same page.
"I don't think there's much rivalry once were all on the same team, everyone here wants to win," said Hunter Lloyd, 17, a centre from Ladysmith.
Ward likes what he has seen so far.
"The strength, at least for the U-18s is going to be fitness and drive," said Ward. "These young men want to do better than just turn up . . . get the T-shirt and go home. They are determined to actually win games."
The PRCs go July 6-8 at the University of British Columbia, although the Tsunami are trying to arrange an exhibition game against the rival Tide Rugby Club from the South Island.
Practices start at 7: 30 p.m. on Wednesdays in Nanaimo and 11 a.m. in Duncan on Sunday.