Press Release from Trinity West Spartans
Langley, BC – November 13, 2018: Trinity Western University is set to bring varsity rugby back. With Andrew Evans, who is currently the Spartans strength and conditioning coach, leading the launch of a men’s 15s program and a women’s sevens program, TWU is on the cusp of reestablishing university rugby in Langley.
Evans, who was previously the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach with Rugby Canada and is a coach with the United Rugby Club, will lead the recruitment process, as TWU plans to bring in 34 male and 18 female athletes, with the intention of launching both programs in the fall of 2019.
“We want to bring in young athletes and build into their lives personally, academically and athletically,” Evans says. “Then, with the coaches we’ll be bringing in, we’ll be able to develop our players tactically and technically as rugby players. If they do a full five years here and they have the talent, they’re going to be ready physically, technically, tactically and mentally to play at the national or professional level.”
The men’s team, which will have the ability to offer full-ride scholarships, will operate largely as an independent program, with opportunities to play against high-level NCAA-affiliated competition. The program will also aim to compete in the Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing rugby back to Trinity Western,” said Jeff Gamache, TWU Athletic Director. “We have a strong history in the sport and we’re excited to have Andrew leading the program, as we know he has the passion and desire to build an outstanding program here at TWU. There’s no doubt he will build these teams into bastions of our Complete Champion Approach and we look forward to what the future holds for the programs.”
On the women’s side, Evans envisions the sevens program playing within the Canada West conference. Beyond that, the team will target international tournaments, both in the United States and around the world.
Working within the Spartans Complete Champion Approach, Evans intention is to direct a program that is about much more than just rugby.
“We want to develop young men and women who know how to go out around the world and serve others and be great models of excellence in everything they do,” Evans says. “Rugby is a global language and we can leverage that to serve our world.”
With his connections with Rugby Canada, Evans also aims to create a seamless relationship that will see Spartan athletes given every opportunity to pursue rugby-playing opportunities.
“To develop professionals and internationals, athletes have to play at the highest level,” he says. “If they’re selected, we want them to play for their country or have professional opportunities. We can structure our program so that we can make those players available for those duties when they’re called upon and we will be working to prepare players for those duties.
“We can win championships here at Trinity Western University, but we can also develop winning performances at the national level.”
The rugby teams will follow in the footsteps of a great rugby tradition at TWU, which saw the men’s program thrive from 1988 to 2004 and compete as a varsity program from 1996 until 2004. TWU also previously had a women’s rugby club program from, 1997 to 2000 and from 2003 to 2005.
“Trinity Western has a great rugby tradition and I’ve played with some of our alums and we very much want them to be part of this program,” Evans says. “We want to build upon their foundation and it’s essential that we have them involved and feel honoured by this program.”
For more information on the rugby programs, contact Andrew Evans: AndrewEvans@twu.ca