|BC Rugby – Vancouver, BC – February 18, 2016: When Rugby Canada’s announces Men’s Teams in the years to come, BC Rugby fans can expect to hear plenty of familiar names.
The next generation of Rugby Canada’s Men’s Rugby Program is stocked with local BC talent, accounting for nearly half of the 26 players named to Canada’s U18 Boys’ XVs Team earlier this week. These emerging high-performance athletes will be tested by a demanding spring tour to Ireland, with the aim of sharpening their skills against some of the best competition in the world. It is likely that many of these players could one day be called upon to serve their country at the senior international level, and the work of preparing them for those future challenges begins now.
BC Rugby’s Dean Murten will be the man charged with fostering the development of this skilled group of players. Having risen through the National Coaching Pathway, with previous Head Coaching roles at the Senior Men’s and Women’s Provincial level, this will be Murten’s first assignment as a National Team Head Coach.
“The Team is very talented,” Murten said. “We have a good balance of speed and power and additionally, the strong leadership in the team will be of great value.”
A challenging schedule beckons for Canada’s U18 Boys. Fixtures include Munster Development XV on March 22nd, Connaught’s Development XV on March 26th and Leinster Development XV on April 2nd.
“This will be the biggest tests these players have ever had,” Murten said. “The Academy teams will be some of the best U18 players in the world. Three games in eight days will also be challenging not only physically but mentally and emotionally. We as a staff and team are excited to take on that challenge. Once we get to Ireland, recovery and player welfare will be a big focus. We need to make sure the athletes are well recovered and prepared for each game.”
Canada’s U18 Boys’ XVs Team will be captained by Mostyn Findlay from Shawnigan Lake School, who will be leading the side into some of the most demanding contests of the young players’ early careers.
His teammates will include 12 players from British Columbia, six from Ontario, four from Quebec, and one each from Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.
There are several notable BC names on the Team, including twins Jacob Thiel and Joshua Thiel, whose parents John Thiel and Jen Ross both had extensive and distinguished international careers with Rugby Canada’s Senior XVs Teams. John Thiel’s 2007 Rugby World Cup teammate, Ander Monro from Shawnigan Lake School, joins the Canada U18 Boys’ Team staff as an Assistant Coach.
BC Rugby Elite Youth 7’s Program standouts Elias Ergas and Ben Scher will be called upon to deploy their mix of speed and precision in the Fifteens format, while Nick Frost, Liam Murray and Liam Doll will be relied upon to provide the strength up front.
“This is a massive part of the players development and for some of the athletes represents their first exposure to international rugby,” Murten said. “We can play and train as hard as we want in Canada but testing our skills, decision making and physicality against world class players is where we can learn the most.”
As Performance Development Manager for BC Rugby, the insights gained by Murten on this tour are also expected to have a direct benefit to the diverse group of Club, School and Provincial Rugby coaches in BC who work closely with him on an ongoing basis.
The three tour games won’t be shown live, but you can follow Rugby Canada on Twitter for in game updates and post match highlights.
Rugby Canada U18 Boys’ XV Team Roster:
Nick Chan of Vancouver, BC (Shawnigan Lake School)
Liam Doll of North Vancouver, BC (UBC Thunderbirds)
Elias Ergas of North Vancouver, BC (Capilano RFC / Collingwood School)
Nick Frost of West Vancouver, BC (UBC Thunderbirds)
Fraser Hurst of Vancouver, BC (Canterbury U18)
John Jubenvill of Surrey, BC (Bayside Sharks)
Liam Murray of Langley, BC (Langley RC)
Seth Purdy of Mill Bay, BC (Shawnigan Lake School)
Ben Scher from Vancouver, BC (Durham University)
Mike Smith of Surrey, BC (Earl Marriot Secondary School)
Josh Thiel of Abbotsford, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Robert Bateman Secondary School)
Jacob Thiel of Abbotsford, BC (Abbotsford RFC / Robert Bateman Secondary School)
Mostyn Findlay, Regina, SK (Shawnigan Lake School)
Steven Ng of Ottawa, ON (Capilano RFC)
Carson O’Sullivan, Buena Vista, SK (Shawnigan Lake School)
Marco II Cazza of Saint –Anicet, QC
Michael Coldwells of Oakville, ON
Nicholas Davidson of St. John, NB
Thomas Davidson of Chelsea, QC
Nicholas De Lallo of Ottawa, ON
Robert Freckelton of Uxbridge, ON
William Kelly of Ancaster, ON
Sebastian Iaricci of Laval, QC
Aidan McMullan of Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, QC
James O’ Neill of Cochrane, AB
Dylan Parson of Caesarea, ON
Rugby Canada’s U18 Boys XV Coaching Staff:
Dean Murten of Vancouver, BC – Head Coach
Ander Monro of Shawnigan Lake, BC – Assistant Coach
John Lavery — Assistant Coach
Des Lynch — Manager / Mental Skills Coach
Jenn McKinnon of Victoria, BC – Physiotherapist
March 26 — Canada vs. Munster Developmental XV
March 30 — Canada vs. Connacht Developmental XV
April 2 — Canada vs. Leinster Developmental XV