VANCOUVER, BC - Head Coach of the BC Rugby Happy Water U17 men’s team Curry Hitchborn has announced his roster for the upcoming B2Gold Provincial Regional Championships, slated for July 4-6 at UBC Wolfson Fields.
For the second straight year, the BC U17 team will compete in the U18 men’s division of the PRCs. The program debuted with a third place finish last year and ended up supplying several players for the U18 BC provincial team that finished as runner-ups at Nationals. The U17 program was brought in to bridge the gap between U16 and U18 teams for BC athletes, developing players to be best prepared to represent their province.
Players from the 2013 squad currently making waves include include Vancouver’s Robert Welch and Phil Berna. Berna started for the BC Elite Youth Sevens provincial team in Las Vegas and both players have gone on to represent Canada Wolverines (Rugby League) at the Under-19 level.
“By giving these players an extra year of high level rugby, we are ensuring the U18 team will be best prepared when these players move on,” Hitchborn said. “This year we have already been able to identify and begin working with 59 players. They showed up to our recent trial and performed beyond expectation.”
Hitchborn and his staff have worked closely with the regions to ensure their programs remain competitive at PRCs.
“It’s important to remember that the U17 squad at PRCs won’t be the final roster that goes to Nationals,” Hitchborn added. “We’ve sent a number of players back to their regions and will be watching them closely during the tournament to see how they perform. There will also be more opportunities for unidentified players to get noticed at PRCs, which is great a selection tool to see all the top level athletes the regions have been producing.”
The squad at PRCs features a number of players with rep rugby experience, including Abbotsford’s Josh Thiel, who Captained the BC U16 provincial team to a 2013 National championship.
“Josh can can slot it an 10 or 12 and has the ability to put a ball anywhere he wants with his foot. He has great technical skills and a large awareness of the game,” Hitchborn added. “One to watch is Charles Tupper’s front row Connor Sampson, who has proven to a be a great scrummager at an early age. We’ve also got Tamar Tucker-Harrison who is a hard working, gritty no.9, who plays from the front foot.”
The Happy Water U17 men’s team will be up against quality opposition from reigning champions Vancouver, 2013 runner-ups North Island Tsunami as well as regional teams from throughout the Fraser Valley and Interior.
“We are looking to continue our assessment of these players through the best way possible, which is through game time,” Hitchborn added. “Due to the amount of talent and the excellent job the regions have done in developing their players, we will be in tough every game.”
Happy Water U17 Roster:
Angus Allen (Capilano RFC / Collingwood)
Niko Blomberg (Capilano RFC / West Vancouver HS)
Callum Botchar (UBCOB Ravens / Magee)
Mitch Cameron (Capilano RFC / Rockridge)
Jackson Claridge (Capilano RFC / Rockridge)
Niko Clironomous (Lord Byng)
Liam Doll (Capilano RFC / Carson Graham)
Nick Frost (Capilano RFC / Sentinel)
Sam Hagong (Richmond RFC / McRoberts)
Luc Hansen-Boucher (UBCOB Ravens / Lord Byng)
Keenan Houde (EMS / Bayside AA)
Fraser Hurst (Vancouver Rowing Club / St. George's School)
Kevin Johnston (Bayside AA / Earl Marriot)
Andrew Jones (Burnaby Lake RC / Moscrop)
Tyrone Karius (Capilano RFC / Handsworth)
Liam Mahon (Capilano RFC / West Van HS)
Liam Murray (Langley RFC / Brookswood)
Connor Sampson (Burnaby Lake RC / Charles Tupper)
Joe Sourisseau (Vancouver Rowing Club / St. George’s School)
Chase Taylor-Robins (Capilano RFC / Rockridge)
Josh Thiel (Abbotsford RFC / Robert Bateman)
Tamar Tucker-Harrison (Capilano RFC / St. George’s School)
Taitusi Vikilani (Burnaby Lake RC / Burnaby Central)
Bruce Wong (Abbotsford RFC)
Austen Zacher (Abbotsford RFC)
Head Coach: Curry Hitchborn
Assistant Coach: Ken Erikson
Manager: Peter Parke
About Happy Water
BC Rugby's partnership with Leading Brands, Inc recently evolved into their new brand, Neurogenesis Happy Water®, it was announced in March. Happy Water is Canada's award-winning naturally alkaline lithia water now being distributed across the country.
Asking “What are you made of?(TM)” – a refrain all too familiar to rugby players at all levels – Happy Water® contains naturally-occurring Lithia, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium, the primary ingredients necessary to refresh and replenish athletes. It’s alkalinity assists in fast absorption. Happy Water’s® mission is to provide consumers everywhere with the opportunity to experience the benefits of this unique, naturally functional water. WHAT ARE YOU MADE OF?(TM)