The Provincial Regional Championships are set to go this Friday and one team poised for a repeat performance are reigning U18 women's champions Fraser Valley.
Fraser Valley will be submitting two squads at this year's tournament, the Fraser Valley Gold and the Fraser Valley Green (Development).
The region is benefitting from a number of surging high school girl's rugby programs and have recruited several standouts from Abbotsford Collegiate, the 2012 double-A XVs and High School 7s provincial champions.
"We are spoiled with the amount of talent we have and there is a great mix with so many girls from different schools this year," said Fraser Valley's head coach Jen Ross. "We usually don't have players from that many schools but this year we are drawing from Walnut Grove, Robert Bateman, North Surrey, Elgin Park, Earl Marriott, Abbotsford Collegiate and Heritage Park."
Captaining Fraser Valley Gold as they look to defend their title this year is Abby Collegiate's Lauren Arthur, who was named finals MVP at the 2012 BCHSGRA Provincial Sevens Championship.
"This will be Lauren's fourth year with us," Ross added. "It has been fantastic to see her mature over the years to not just become a great player, but a great leader as well."
Key players to watch include Abby Collegiate's Tiffany Picketts, Robert Bateman's Maddy Borrows and Earl Marriott standout Nicole Bengco.
Gearing up for the PRCs, the Fraser Valley squads have been training together and only recently separated into Gold and Green (Development) teams, a process which Ross says has been difficult due to the skills and talent on hand at their sessions.
"I think the most beneficial thing for us heading in is the numbers as we can train and practice situational stuff, but it hasn't been easier. In fact it's been gut wrenching making the division," Ross added. "But the teams are excited for the PRCs as they see this as an extension of their high school season. Some of them may not go on and play much rugby after this and they really see this tournament as the big finale."
Standing in the way of a Fraser Valley repeat are last year's runners-up Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Thompson-Okanagan. The women's U18 competition begins on Friday at 10:50 am at UBC's Wolfson Fields.
Day One - Friday, July 6 - U18 Women:
10:50am Fraser Valley vs Fraser Valley Dev.
10:50am Thompson Okanagan vs Vancouver Island
1:20pm Vancouver vs Fraser Valley
1:20pm Fraser Valley Dev. vs Thompson Okanagan
3:40pm Vancouver vs Vancouver Island
Thanks to official PRCs partner Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.