LANGFORD, BC - BC Bears head coach Jim Dixon has announced his player squad for Friday night's Canadian Rugby Championship clash against defending champions Ontario Blues. The five new additions to the lineup include 2011 Rugby World Cup 'Beardo' Adam Kleeberger of White Rock, BC. New additions to the player pool from BC's opener in early August also include forwards Jim de Goede (James Bay), Alex Boyd (Meraloma Rugby Club) and backs Evan Thomas (Burnaby Lake) and Caleb Hansen (Vancouver Rowing Club).
British Columbia's senior men's provincial team, the BC Bears (0-1), are gearing up for a Labour Day Weekend doubleheader that will see them scrum down against current MacTier Cup holders Ontario Blues (1-0) and Maritime representatives Atlantic Rock (1-1) at Langford's Westhills Stadium.
Fri. Aug 30, 7:30pm KO: Ontario Blues at BC Bears (Westhills Stadium, Langford)
Mon. Sept 2, 4:45pm KO: Atlantic Rock at BC Bears (Westhills Stadium, Langford)
Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 youth
Kleeberger last played for BC in 2011 prior to his departure for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. One of three iconic Canadian 'Beardos', Kleeberger's epic facial hair, ferocious tackling and a man-of-the-match performance in Canada's win over Tonga saw the flanker get plenty of attention at the international level. Kleeberger went on to play a season for the London Scottish in England's RFU Championship but was then sidelined for a lengthy period through injury. The 29-year-old is now making a come back and recently featured for the Canadian Maple Leafs Sevens team in their third place showing at the World Games in Colombia this past August.
"We are very pleased to have [Kleeberger] back and it will be great to have his experience," Dixon said. "We want him to play to the standard that he is capable of and know that he will be there to lead by example."
"We were very mindful of our opposition when selecting this squad and realize there is a lot of rugby to be played in the next few days. Ontario are a very big and physical side and like to assert themselves up front," Dixon added. "We want to be able to deal with that and provide our own pressure. That will hopefully give us the opportunities to let loose in the backs and use our pace."
Meraloma prop Boyd will be called upon for his scrummaging and work at the breakdown while de Goede's height will be an asset in the line outs and will power the engine room. Thomas and Hansen are both proven backs and will provide more threats on offence.
"Caleb [Hansen] was very unlucky to not make it into the squad in the first game but has since really shown well in training, especially last weekend in our match against Burnaby," Dixon added. "We are rewarding guys for their efforts and have selected accordingly."
Friday's upcoming 7:30 tilt against two-time national champs Ontario will be crucial for the Bears as they look to post their first win of the 2013 season and level the standings to have all four regional sides sitting with 1-1 records.
"History would say we can expect a battle up front as Ontario are traditionally very strong at the set piece and consequently create good front-foot ball for their back line," said BC Bears head coach Jim Dixon.
BC dropped their opener on August 10th against the Prairie Wolf Pack (1-1), going down 30-21 at UBC's Wolfson Fields. The Bears' three tries were tallied by forwards as Captain Micha Govorchin (Burnaby Lake), Soctt Mackay (Burnaby Lake) and Callum Morrison (Meraloma) each went over to score. All three Bears conversions came courtesy of James Bay product Connor Braid.
Arguably the nation's most storied rugby rivalry, BC senior men's sides are 3-3 against Ontario since the CRC competition first debuted in 2009. The most recent clash was a 32-17 win for Ontario Blues who downed the Pacific Tyee (represented BC in 2012) at Westhills Stadium on September 15, 2012.
Ontario squeaked past the Rock in their 2013 CRC opener on August 17th, posting a 27-25 victory. Steve Piatek of Brantford Harlequins was solid with the boot, kicking three conversions and a penalty to guide the hosts to the win. Ryan MacSween (Balmy Beach) and Cam Stones (Ajax Wanderers) provided the tries with a penalty notched by Derek Daypuck (London St. George's).
Tickets can be purchased at the gate and are priced at $15 for adults, $10 for youth. A two-pack double-header (per person), good for both the Friday and Monday fixtures can be purchased for $25 for adults and $15 for youth.
Ontario Blues at BC Bears
Fri. Aug 30, 7:30pm KO
(Westhills Stadium, Langford)
Atlantic Rock at BC Bears
Mon. Sept 2, 4:45pm KO
(Westhills Stadium, Langford)
BC Bears Roster vs Ontario
1. Clayton Thornber (Castaway Wanderers)
2. Andrew Lackner (Burnaby Lake)
3. Scott Mackay (Burnaby Lake)
4. Shea Wakefield (UVic Vikes)
5. Aaron Flagg (Abbotsford RFC)
6. Callum Morrison (Meraloma Rugby Club)
7. Dustin Dobravsky (UVic Vikes)
8. Chris Chalmers (Abbotsford RFC)
9. Henry Recinos (Vancouver Rowing Club)
10. Connor Braid (James Bay AA)
11. Luke McCloskey (UVic Vikes)
12. Matt Buckley (Castaway Wanderers)
13. Joe Dolesau (Burnaby Lake)
14. Caleb Hansen (Vancouver Rowing Club)
15. Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds)
16. Alex Boyd (Meraloma Rugby Club)
17. Ryan March (Abbotsford RFC)
18. Jim de Goede (James Bay AA)
19. Adam Kleeberger (UVic Vikes)
20. Evan Thomas (Burnaby Lake)
21. Pat Kay (UVic Vikes)
22. Clayton Meeres (James Bay AA)
Bears Team Staff
Head Coach - Jim Dixon
Assistant Coach - Kenny Goodland
Manager - Hans de Goede
Athletic Therapist - Michelle Jones
Team Doctor - Dr. Don Hedges
Ontario roster vs BC
1. Tom Dolezel (London St. George’s)
2. Ray Barkwill (Niagara Wasps)
3. Doug Wooldridge (Lindsay RFC)
4. Hank McQueen (Balmy Beach)
5. Scott Dunham (Balmy Beach)
6. Mark MacSween (Balmy Beach)
7. Alistair Clark (Bay Street)
8. Pat Richardson (Markham Irish)
9. Jamie Mackenzie (Oakville Crusaders)
10. Derek Daypuck, Captain, (London St. George’s)
11. Lucas Hammond (Toronto Nomads)
12. Mike Sholz, (Oakville Crusaders)
13. Jordan Wilson-Ross (Barrie RFC)
14. Jake Webster (Lindsay RFC)
15. Liam Underwood (Balmy Beach)
16. Seb Pearson (London St. George’s)
17. Creag Johnston (Toronto Scottish)
18. Haddon Murray (Balmy Beach)
19. Tim Richardson (Markham Irish)
20. Andrew Ferguson (Oakville Crusaders)
21. Jesse Lofthouse (Markham Irish)
22. Dan Moor (Balmy Beach)
Ontario Blues Team Staff
Head Coach - Chris Silverthorn
Manager - Mark Winokur
Assistant Coaches - Paul Connelly, Paul Ambrose
Video Analyst - Rodin Lozada
Athletic Therapist - Chris Kelly
Team Doctor - Dr. Chris Gallimore
Referee - Chris Assmus
Assistant Referee - Michael Jones
Assistant Referee - Nathan Abdelnour
2013 Canadian Rugby Championship Schedule
Sat. Aug 10: Prairie Wolf Pack 30, BC Bears 21
Sat. Aug 17: Ontario Blues 27, Atlantic Rock 25
Sat. Aug 24: Atlantic Rock 16, Prairie Wolf Pack 14
Fri. Aug 30, 6:00pm: Atlantic Rock at Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary Rugby Park)
Fri. Aug 30, 7:30pm: Ontario Blues at BC Bears (Westhills Stadium, Langford)
Mon. Sept 2, 1:00pm: Ontario Blues at Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary Rugby Park)
Mon. Sept 2, 4:45pm: Atlantic Rock at BC Bears (Westhills Stadium, Langford)
Sat. Sept 14, 4:30pm: BC Bears at Ontario Blues (Lindsay Rugby Park)
Sat. Sept 21, 3:30pm: Ontario Blues at Atlantic Rock (Swilers Rugby Complex, St. John's)
Sat. Sept 21, 3:00pm: BC Bears at Prairie Wolf Pack (Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton)
CRC Results vs Ontario
2012 (September 15th) - LOSS Pacific Tyee 17, Ontario Blues 32
2012 (September 1st) - WIN Pacific Tyee 36, Ontario Blues 31
2011 (August 2nd) LOSS British Columbia 21, Ontario Blues 46
2010 (September 5th) LOSS British Columbia 20, Ontario Blues 55
2009 (October 10th) WIN - CRC FINAL - British Columbia 12, Ontario Blues 8
2009 (September 14th) WIN - British Columbia 29, Ontario Blues 24