Pictured: Nathan Yanagiya
VANCOUVER, BC - Reigning national champions British Columbia have announced their roster for the upcoming U19 Canadian Rugby Championship, set for July 17-21 at Calgary Rugby Park. The 25-man squad to be led by returning head coach Kris de Scossa features six Canada U20 representatives from the recent Junior World Rugby Trophy where the national team placed second in Chile.
BC will open the CRC competition against historic rivals Ontario Blues on Wednesday, July 17th with round-robin fixtures also seeing them face off against the Voyageurs (Quebec-Ontario East) on July 18th and the Prairie Wolf Pack (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba) on July 20th. The playoff rounds will feature a 3rd/4th consolation match as well as a gold medal final on Sunday, July 21st.
"The schedule will be tough but it is designed to give the players a platform to show national selectors that they can handle four games in five days," said De Scossa. "Last year was our first year in the U19 tournament and we are looking forward to returning and hopefully defending our title against some strong competition."
The list of Canada U20 reps includes UBC Thunderbirds Neil Courtney, Connor Hamilton and Jorden Sandover-Best. Canadian sevens speedster Justin Douglas of Abbotsford was also named to the squad, as were UVic VIkes standouts Nathan Yanagiya and James Pitblado.
The leadership group will be made up of Hamilton, Pitblado,Yanagiya and 2012 BC U18 Captain Haydn Evans.
"Our Canada players have been leading by example and the training so far has been excellent. We've had top level facilities out at UBC and our players have really bought into the culture and camaraderie," De Scossa added.
This will also be another opportunity to see graduates of the BC Rugby Academy [established in 2006] testing themselves against national level competition. Many of the top level age grade athletes have performed well at nationals in recent years and continue to be exposed to high level competition with Shane Thompson's BC Elite Youth Sevens program, this tournament (CRC) will be another chance to see the players perform in the XVs code.
"Last year we set the bench mark to see how we're progressing as a province and to come through unbeaten playing a fantastic style of rugby was really a credit to the pathway and the work of [BC Provincial Coach and Development Manager] Dave Brown as well as some fine tuning from Dave Murphy and I," De Scossa added. "Every province we play we know will be a hard challenge. There are no easy matches and this is our chosen arena to test ourselves against the best, so we are looking forward to the challenges ahead and will play with pride and passion."
For more information on the U19 CRC, visit www.canadianrugbychampionship.com.
2013 Tournament Schedule - U19 Canadian Rugby Championship
Wed. July 17th
11:00am - Prairie Wolf Pack vs Voyageurs
1:00pm - British Columbia vs Ontario Blues
Thurs. July 18th
11:00am - Voyageurs vs British Columbia
1:00pm - Prairie Wolf Pack vs Ontario Blues
Sat. July 20th
12:00pm Ontario Blues vs Voyageurs
2:00pm British Columbia vs Prairie Wolf Pack
Playoff Rounds - Sun. July 21st
11:00am - 3rd/4th Consolation
1:00pm - 1st/2nd National Final
BC U19 Men's Roster
1. Neil Courtney* - Loose Head Prop (UBC Thunderbirds)
2. Liam Beaulieu - Loose Head Prop (Bayside Athletic Association)
3. Jacob Collins - Hooker (United Rugby Club)
4. Nolan Laderoute - Hoooker (Vancouver Rowing Club)
5. Macbryan Bos - Tighthead Prop (UVic Vikes)
6. Dylan Kiselbach - Tighthead Prop (Bayside Athletic Association/ UBC Thunderbirds)
7. Reid Tucker - Lock (Capilano RFC)
8. Connor Hamilton* - Lock (UBC Thunderbirds)
9. Connor Weyell - Lock (Capilano RFC)
10. Nathaniel Hight - Flanker (Surrey Beavers AA)
11. Jeff Nishima-Miller - Flanker (UVic Vikes)
12. Cole Mosychuk - Flanker (UBC Okanagan / Kelowna Crows)
13. Robert Fenton - Flanker (Vancouver Rowing Club)
14. Haydn Evans - No. 8 (UVic Vikes)
15. James Pitblado* - Scrum Half (UVic Vikes)
16. Jorden Sandover-Best* - Scrum Half (UBC Thunderbirds)
17. Quinton Willms - Fly Half (Bayside Athletic Association)
18. Crosby Stewart - Wing (James Bay Athletic Association)
19. Austin Karius - WIng (Capilano RFC)
20. Gavin McLean - Centre (Comox Kickers RFC)
21. Joe Erlic - Centre (Castaway Wanderers RFC)
22. Sebastian Gibson - Centre (Abbotsford RFC)
23. Nathan Yanagiya* - Centre (UVic Vikes)
24. Justin Douglas* - Wing (Abbotsford RFC)
25. Titus Le - Back Three (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
BC U19 Team Staff
Head Coach - Kris de Scossa
Assistant Coach - Dave Murphy
Manager - Clive Fairs
Therapist / Trainer - Alvin Tseng