Burnaby, BC – June 30, 2018: Day Two at the PRCs is upon us! We finally saw some sun poke through and by noon it was beautiful weather all 'round. The second day saw the tension ramp up as teams are playing working hard to secure top standings ahead of the final day of competition. Shouts and cheers were volleyed by supporters from the sidelines throughout the day and the players didn’t disappoint.
In between trying to watch all of the games possible, we had a chance to catch up with some prolific rugby stars from BC. Three local rugby players who have gone on to excel at the national level came out to the PRCs today to show their support for grassroots rugby in BC. Harry Jones, Admire Cejvanovic, and Nate Hirayama. Harry grew up in West Vancouver, Nate in Richmond, and Admir played started playing rugby right here, at Burnaby Lake. We had a chance to catch up with them and ask them about their memories and how their participation in PRCs leads to many other opportunities in rugby.
“I think it’s a stepping stone”, said Hirayama. I think PRCs, for a lot of people, it’s their first rep team. It’s a great opportunity to play with different guys and it’s an opportunity to play if you want a shot at provincial teams”.
All three played in PRCs when they were in age-grade rugby. Admir wasn’t even sure if he would make the team. His success in rugby proves that regional competitions are key in developing local talent, so our higher-level teams can stay competitive. “When I signed up, I didn’t think I would be going further with rugby and I came out, started practicing and met some guys who will be friends for life”.
For most of the three, the most exciting part of playing their first PRC tournaments were meeting their teammates. “It was a lot of fun. It was exciting to play with friends but also higher competition than high school or club, at the time, I wasn’t thinking really thinking about all the next steps about BC or Canada, it was just about having fun”. Cejnavoic affirms Harry’s admission about thinking about your current task or challenge. “Focus on what’s in front of you. Focus on this tournament and focus on how you’re gonna get better. Don’t worry about what’s coming down the road, just what’s hear in front of you, how you can help your team win, everything else will come its way if you do the work that’s in front of you”. Admir also confirms that one of his favourite rugby memories was when he faced down future Canada teammate, Connor Braid, who was playing for the Island, “I remember how intense those games were and how fun they were.” He adds with emphasis that the Vancouver side was victorious in that bout. Clearly, there is still a competitive rivalry there, born at PRCs.
Harry sums up the appeal for players whose ambition it is to represent their province and possibly nation, “This is a stepping stone to BC. Not only to be playing the games but to be seeing the other teams and what your competition is like or your competition for spots or guys that play the same position as you. And you also meet people who are rivals who become your teammates. After a weekend, you’d be playing against them and then on their team the next”.
This trio of Canada Sevens players feels strongly about growing rugby in BC. Harry and Admir devoted a lot of their time today speaking with young players who have seen them play at the Vancouver stop of the World Sevens Series. The talent and the athleticism in BC is evident, it’s just a matter of keeping players having fun and being competitive through competitions like this one.
The 2018 PRCs comes to an exciting climax tomorrow with medals being decided across all seven divisions. The action kicks off at 9am, with medal matches taking place from 1pm (approx.). For more information on the PRCs, including schedules and results, go to bcrugby.com/prcs.
Live streaming, provided by SportsCanadaTV, will be available again for all games on Field 2. Stay up to date with events across the weekend with our social media streams Facebook | Twitter | Instagram