BC Bears' Squad announced for CRC opener vs. Wolf Pack

July 11, 2017

Vancouver, BC – July 11, 2017 – BC Rugby is proud to announce the BC Bears squad ahead of their first match in the 2017 Canadian Rugby Championships, sponsored by Langara Fishing Adventures. Canadian and BC stalwarts Phil Mack, Anthony Luca and Jake Illnicki will be leading a squad balanced with young talent and experienced hands against the Prairie Wolf Pack at Thunderbird Stadium this Friday. As the only home game in the competition, The BC Bears are keen to make the most of the home field advantage before the tournament moves to Calgary in August.

The new-look squad, under the direction of Head Coach, Tony Healy of James Bay AA, will be keen to get off to a winning start and make amends for last year. The opening match of the 2016 CRC witnessed a closely fought game against Prairie Wolf Pack, with victory stolen from the Bears in the closing moments. Seven players that started that match are present this year, including Giusseppe DuToit, Doug Fraser, Andrew Lackner, Anthony Luca, Craig McLaughlin, Jordan Reid-Harvey and Brock Staller.

New additions to this year's line-up include George Barton and Anton N’Gongo who both starred in Canada's U20 Men’s qualifying victory over the USA in Edmonton this June.  Joining them are Paul Ahn, Luke Campbell, Neil Courtney, Harjun Gill, Jake Ilnicki, Travis Larsen, Phil Mack, Aaron McLelland, Mike Nieuwenhuysen, Nakai Penny, Cam Polson, Gavin Rowell, Taitusi Vikilani and Connor Weyell.  

Canada Senior Men's Team players Ilnicki, Mack and Luca will bring an extra element of experience and composure to the squad off the back of the test series games against Romania, Georgie and USA last month.  With a further five players hailing from the BC Rugby Men's Premier League 2017 Champions, UBC Thunderbirds, there is no question that the squad is well equipped to deal with the pressure and expectation building ahead of the match.

Senior Manager of Rugby Growth & Development at BC Rugby, Dean Murten, struck a positive tone stating, "I am excited to see how the BC Bears perform in the 2017 CRC.  They started the season well with a good performance against a Canadian Tyee team in May, and they've been putting the work in to ensure they are well prepared for a high tempo match."  

Murten went on to say, "The team has a good balance of youth, and experience.  We know the Wolfpack will play a direct physical game and we're all very excited to get this season off to a great start."

UBC Thunderbird Stadium will be the venue for this much-anticipated match, with kick off at 7.00pm (PDT). Tickets are available at the gate from 6pm at just $12 for adults and free for minors (please bring valid High School ID).

For those that can’t make it to the venue, the game will be live streamed at bcrugby.com/bc-rugby-live-streaming/.

 After this opening match, the CRC tournament will shift to Calgary, with the remaining games being played from August 13-19 at Rugby Park.

Match Details

BC Bears vs. Prairie Wolf Pack

2017 Canadian Rugby Championship, sponsored by Langara Fishing Adventures

Thunderbird Stadium - UBC

Friday, July 14, 7pm Kickoff

Tickets at the Gate from 6pm

BC Bears’ Canadian Rugby Championship Schedule

Bears vs. Wolf Pack — July 14 — 7pm PDT

Bears vs. Rock — Aug 13 — 3pm MDT/2pm PDT

Bears vs. Blues — Aug 16 — 5pm MDT/4pm PDT

3rd Place Playoff — Aug 19 — 5pm MDT/4pm PDT

CRC Final — Aug 19 — 7pm MDT/6pm PDT

BC Bears' Squad vs. Prairie Wolf Pack

Paul AhnUBC Thunderbirds Vancouver, BC
George BartonASM Clermont-FerrandDuncan, BC
Luke CampbellJames Bay AAVictoria, BC
Neil CourtneyUBC Thunderbirds Vancouver, BC
Giusseppe DuToitUVIC Vikes Victoria, BC
Doug FraserCastaway Wanderers RFCVictoria, BC
Harjun GillUBCOB Ravens RFCVancouver, BC
Jake IlnickiCastaway Wanderers RFCVictoria, BC
Andrew LacknerBurnaby Lake RFCPitt Meadows, BC
Travis LarsenJames Bay AAVictoria, BC
Anthony LucaBurnaby Lake RFCPitt Meadows, BC
Phil MackJames Bay AAVictoria, BC
Craig McLaughlinBurnaby Lake RFCBurnaby, BC
Aaron McLellandUBCOB Ravens RFCVancouver, BC
Anton N'GongoCastaway Wanderers RFCVictoria, BC
Mike NieuwenhuysenJames Bay AAVictoria, BC
Nakai PennyUBC Thunderbirds Comox, BC
Cam PolsonCastaway Wanderers RFCVictoria, BC
Jordan Reid-HarveyCapilano RFCVancouver, BC
Gavin RowellUVIC Vikes RFCAbbotsford, BC
Brock StallerUBC Thunderbirds Vancouver, BC
Taitusi VikilaniBurnaby Lake RFCBurnaby, BC
Connor WeyellUBC Thunderbirds Vancouver, BC


Tony HealyHead Coach
Phil MackAssistant Coach
Des LynchManager/Mental Skills Coach
Dr. Rebecca SkillenMedical Staff
Trish HopkinsMedical Staff

Morgan SangsterMedical Staff