BURNABY - The first round of 2013-14 club season games gets underway on Saturday with the launch of the men's Mainland Cup and Okanagan Spring Brewery Leagues. In the Mainland Cup, Vancouver Rowing Club heads to Burnaby Lake with their top and first division sides. The Okanagan division will feature Richmond RFC away to Langley.
Reigning VRU champs and current Miller Cup (Elite) and Tisdall Cup (First Division) holders Burnaby Lake Rugby Club have been in preseason since early August and are keen to get the season underway. A number of the top players will be rested during the competition as they are currently representing the province with the BC Bears program, but that has opened the door for more players to earn selection to the premier side according to head coach Kris de Scossa.
"The club is looking really good and we've had upwards of 50-60 players out at training," said de Scossa. "We have a strong contingent proudly representing the province at the moment so we are keen to see what some of our younger players are capable of producing."
The competition will feature two pools of round robin play as the Rowers, Burnaby Lake and UBCOB Ravens will be squaring off in Pool A, and Capilano and Meraloma will be in Pool B. The winners of each pool will advance to the Vancouver Rugby Union finals on September 28th.
The five teams will then gear up for the Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League which will also feature the UVic Vikes, James Bay AA and Castaway Wanderers RFC.
"The September games will allow our players to compete ahead of the CDI Premier League season and it means we are playing competitive rugby ahead of the full league start in October," de Scossa added. "Saturday's game will be a great match between two clubs with plenty of history and respect towards each other."
The Okanagan Spring Brewery Leagues will run September through November and February through May. Richmond and Langley will kick off the competition at Crush Crescent on Saturday, ahead of the full season launch with the remaining eight teams. Clubs also competing in the Tier Two men's league include 2013 runner-ups Abbotsford RFC, Bayside AA, Kamloops, Seattle, Surrey Beavers, UBC Thunderbirds, UBCO Heat/Kelowna and United Rugby Club. The top teams will qualify for the playoffs where they will compete against one another and an Island club for promotion to the 2014-15 Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League.
Mainland Cup (Elite) - Sat. September 7th:
Vancouver Rowing Club at Burnaby Lake (Burnaby Lake Sports Complex) 2:45pm
Mainland Cup (First Division) - Sat. September 7th:
Vancouver Rowing Club at Burnaby Lake (Burnaby Lake Sports Complex) 1:00pm
Okanagan Spring Brewery League One - Sat. September 7th:
Richmond RFC at Langley RFC (Crush Crescent) 2:30pm
EXHIBITION: UBC inter-squad matches (Wolfson Fields), 10am & 12pm
Okanagan Spring Brewery League Two - Sat. September 7th:
Richmond RFC at Langley RFC (Crush Crescent) 1:00pm