Pitblado at scrum half for the UVic Vikes vs James Bay
NOTE: Thyssen de Goede will replace Adam Kleeberger (injured) for BC's match against the Wolf Pack.
VANCOUVER, BC - The BC Bears have added four impact players ahead of their Edmonton road trip for the final match of the 2013 Canadian Rugby Championship season. The Bears (1-3) have called up Thyssen de Goede (Victoria, BC), Connor Braid (Victoria, BC) and Michael Fuailefau (Victoria, BC) to their roster as well as Canada-U20 scrum half James Pitblado (Vancouver, BC) for their rubber match against the Prairie Wolf Pack (2-2).
BC Bears (1-3) at Prairie Wolf Pack (2-2)
Sat. Sept 21st, 3:00pm
@ Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton, Alta.
Fuailefau and Braid have both recovered from injuries sustained during summer competition and will add more fire power to the already-versatile BC back line.
Pitblado, who was a key figure in the BC Under-19 provincial team's undefeated run at nationals this year, will make his first start at the senior men's rep level replacing the injured Sean White (Victoria, BC).
"We're well aware of James and his involvement at the Canada U20 level this past summer and the role he played with BC's U19 team," said BC Bears head coach Jim Dixon. "This will be a great opportunity for him to take another step in his development and that's part of our responsibility as a squad. I'm looking forward to having him involved."
A graduate of the BC Rugby Academy and BC Elite Youth Sevens program, UVic's Pitblado will be relied on this weekend for his play-making and distribution abilities against one of the CRC's most established scrum halves Gordon McRorie.
The Wolf Pack 8-9-10 combination of Clay Panga, McRorie and Adam Mcqueen proved lethal when the two sides previously met in the CRC opener in early August. The final result was a 30-21 win for the Wolf Pack at UBC's Wolfson Fields.
"This weekend is about finishing on a positive note and getting a win," added Dixon. "In trying to keep things in perspective, it is our objective to build a program beyond this season and to give the players some continuity and ability to improve and perform as a group."
After the national competition wraps up this weekend (Ontario Blues have already clinched the MacTier Cup), senior men's national team head coach Kieran Crowley will be selecting his Canada-A roster for the upcoming Americas Rugby Championship in Langford, BC.
The Bears will need a strong outing if they are to put their hands up for selection to the national team development side.
"We are expecting a tough contest and will have to head to Edmonton looking to counter their enthusiasm that they'll undoubtedly have playing at home," added Dixon. "It should be a tough game but I believe we have the players and kind of program that should hopefully get us the result."
Saturday's match will be the first in the Wolf Pack's history hosted outside of Calgary. Ellerslie Rugby Park played host to a Pacific Nations Cup earlier this summer when Canada handed the USA a 16-9 loss in front of 3,500 fans.
Note: Bears starting lineup to be posted on Friday, September 21st.
BC Bears roster vs Prairie Wolf Pack
1. Anthony Luca (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
2. Micha Govorchiin (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
3. Ryan March (Abbotsford RFC)
4. Shea Wakefield (UVic Vikes)
5. Aaron Flagg (Abbotsford RFC)
6. Callum Morrison (Meraloma Rugby Club)
7. Luke Campbell (UVic Vikes)
8. Chris Chalmers (Abbotsford RFC)
9. James Pitblado (UVic Vikes)
10. Connor Braid (James Bay AA)
11. Clayton Meeres (James Bay AA)
12. Michael Fuailefau (Castaway Wanderers RFC)
13. Joe Dolesau (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
14. Evan Thomas (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
15. Sean Ferguson (UBC Thunderbirds)
16. Andrew Lackner (Burnaby lake Rugby Club)
17. Clayton Thornber (Castaway Wanderers RFC)
18. Jim de Goede (James Bay AA)
19. Thyssen de Goede (James Bay AA)
20. Caleb Hansen (Vancouver Rowing Club)
21. Steve Battie (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
22. Jorden Best (UBC Thunderbirds)
Head Coach - Jim Dixon
Manager - Hans de Goede
Assistant Coach - Kenny Goodland
Strength & Conditioning - Conan Cooper
Athletic Therapist - Jessica Smith
Wolf Pack Roster
Anderson, John (Calgary AB, Hornets)
Bontus, Adam (Edmonton AB, St. Albert)
Buchanan, James (Calgary AB, Hornets)
Dala, Nanyak (Victoria BC, Castaway Wanderers)
Franklin, Scott (Victoria BC, Castaway Wanderers)
Gilmour, Kyle (Edmonton AB, St. Albert)
Hawes, Tyler (Calgary AB, Canucks)
Henderson, Brodie (Edmonton AB, Clansmen)
Houlihan, Pete (Calgary AB, Canucks)
Huston, Ian (Calgary AB, Saints)
Maguire, Duncan (Edmonton AB, St. Albert)
Massiah, Spence (Calgary AB, Hornets)
McQueen, Adam (Canmore AB, Hornets)
McRorie, Gordon (Calgary AB, Hornets)
Panga, Clayton (Calgary AB, Hornets)
Pocock, Carl (Calgary AB, Hornets)
Reed, Casey (Airdrie AB, Hornets)
Robinson, Jake (Edmonton AB, St. Albert)
Samson, Mozac (Calgary AB, Saints)
Schlebach, Joshua (Calgary AB, CCIAC)
Shoults, Ian (Calgary AB, Canucks)
Tiedemann, Andrew (Victoria BC, Castaway Wanderers)
Head Coach – Graeme Moffat
Assistant Coach – Col Jeffs
Manager – Jim Kazakoff
Assistant Manager – Jo Reinbold
Athletic Therapist – Rebecca Spears
Athletic Therapist – Nicole Ainsworth
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: Atlantic Rock 27, Prairie Wolf Pack 47
Fri. Aug 30: Ontario Blues 11, BC Bears 7
Mon. Sept 2: Ontario Blues 53 - 23 Prairie Wolf Pack
Mon. Sept 2: Atlantic Rock 18 - 40 BC Bears
Sat. Sept 14, 4:30pm: BC Bears 27 - 50 Ontario Blues
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)