VANCOUVER - Head coach of the British Columbia Under-23 men's provincial rugby team Dave Brown has announced his roster for Friday's fixture against English touring side Durham University.
Fri. July 6 - 6:30pm KO: BC U23 vs Durham University at Klahanie Park (West Vancouver)
Eight changes have been made to the BC U23 staring lineup that defeated St. Andrew's University 57-25 back on June 23rd at Bockton Oval. UBC's Jonathon Hill is unavailable due to his FISU World University Games commitments and a number of positions were juggled due to availability and injuries.
"We wanted to try out some different combinations as Durham will be a different prospect to St. Andrew's. We will need to be much better in all aspects of our performance ," Brown said. "The three main areas to focus on will be our start to the game, our team discipline and our ability to put together consistent patterns to our play."
UBC Thunderbird Alex Kam and Kamloops RFC's Jonah Woodward will start in the front row alongside Capilano hooker Evan Mallory. Canada U20 grad Adam Zaruba will move into the second row alongside UVic's Shea Wakefield to power the engine room. Gareth Dyrer (Capilano) and Alex Boyd (Meraloma) will man the flanks while captain Mike McDonald (Capilano) will again captain the side from no. 8.
Abbotsford's Lucas De Beer will hold down the scrum half position while Zahid Jethani who now plies his trade with Brown University, will slot in at fly half. Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds), Doug Fraser (UVic Vikes) and Brock Staller (Meraloma) will retain their starting positions while Evan Thomas (Burnaby Lake) and Keaton Styles (UVic Vikes) will inject some pace into the back line.
A Bayside Sharks and Earl Marriott product, Styles has played for the national Under-20 team as well as the national sevens side and will add to the team's scoring arsenal on Friday.
"Keaton is a versatile player who will give us cover at full back, stand off, on the wing and potentially scrum half, Brown added. "He is a dynamic player and one that we wanted to include for Friday's fixture."
Durham are expected to be a stronger side than St. Andrew's University and Brown says their storied success in British university athletics speaks for itself.
"I would rank Durham up there with Loughborough - one of the top four university sides on an annual basis," Brown said.
Durham Rugby Football Club dates back to 1832 and has a proud tradition in the UAU (Universities Athletic Union) and BUSA (British Universities Sports Association) competitions having produced a number of England national team players including former Captains Phil de Glanville and Will Carling. Since their separation from Newcastle in 1967, 35 Durham players have played internationally including recent alumni Will Greenwood, Tim Stimpson, Duncan Hodge, David Walder and Charlie Hodgson.
Durham University field four competitive teams ranging from their 1st XV which competes in the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Premier Division to the 'Freshers' team which plays weekend fixtures throughout the season. Durham's 1st XV beat UWIC (University of Wales Institute, Cardiff) in the 2011 BUCS Championship final at Twickenham by score of 25-23.
BC U23 Roster
1: Alex Kam (UBC Thunderbirds)
2: Evan Mallory (Capilano RFC)
3: Jonah Woodward (Kamloops RFC)
4: Adam Zaruba (Capilano RFC)
5: Shea Wakefield (UVic Vikes)
6: Gareth Dyer (Capilano RFC)
7: Alex Boyd (Meraloma Rugby Club)
8: Mike McDonald (Capilano RFC) Capt.
9: Lucas De Beer (Abbotsford RFC)
10: Zahid Jethani (Brown University)
11: Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds)
12: Doug Fraser (UVic Vikes)
13: Brock Staller (Meraloma Rugby Club)
14: Evan Thomas (Burnab Lake Rugby Club)
15: Keaton Styles (UVic Vikes)
16: Blake van Heyningen (James Bay Athletic Association)
17: Aaron Flagg (Abbotsford RFC)
18: Paul Jung (Simon Fraser University)
19: Thomas Pynn (UVic Vikes)
20: James Kelly (Surrey Beavers Athletic Association)
21: Jamie Beaton (Surrey Beavers Athletic Association)
22: Henry Recinos (Vancouver Rowing Club)
23: Buck Payne (Meraloma Rugby Club)
Head Coach - Dave Brown
Assistant Coach - Kas Futawatari
Athletic Therapist - Monique Charbonneau