VANCOUVER: A U13-U14 Canadian invitational touring side, led by team manager Rick Bourne is currently preparing for their first ever trip to Bermuda for a youth tournament in March.
The experience is geared towards youngsters enjoying the game and exposing them to their first international tour. Made up largely of Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Toronto-based players, the Canadian team is still looking to add 4-5 participants for the trip.
In an effort to grow the game at the junior level in the North American Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) region, the roster will be divided into two seven-a-side teams and will play against high school and club sides in Bermuda,
Canada's NACRA rep and former Rugby Canada Chairman Rick Bourne pursued the initiative as a way to introduce some of the country's future rugby stars to the opportunities that await them over the next few years. Bourne has also worked extensively with this age group and is currently a mini rugby coach with Vancouver's UBCOB Ravens.
"We recently had some meetings with NACRA officials in both Florida and Cuba and were discussing ways to further develop the game in our region. With an event like this for younger players I thought it would be a great way to not only help develop junior rugby in Canada but it also provides another opportunity for growth in Bermuda," Bourne said. "Hopefully we can see this continue to develop and in the future have teams like USA, Mexico and representatives from the Caribbean taking part."
The team will leave March 13th and their packed agenda includes the two-day tournament, beach rugby events and family-oriented activities. The tour will return home to Canada on March 19th.
There are currently 14 players signed up and Bourne is looking for at least 4-5 more. The team will be training Tuesday evenings from 7-8pm at Jericho Park (Vancouver West) in preparation for the trip. The player fee is priced at $1500 and parents are encouraged to also travel and stay with the team.
For more information contact tour manager Rick Bourne by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Parents and players can also contact Graham Brown (email@example.com) and Pearse Higgins (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details.