Vancouver, BC – August 22, 2019: BC All-Stars Head Coach and Rugby Development Manager Aaron Takel has named his roster to compete against the Canadian Men’s XV in a World Cup warm-up fixture on August 30th in Langford, BC. The squad will take on the national men’s team in their second of three warm-up matches to help the team prepare ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup (RWC) in Tokyo this Fall.
The team has been selected based on multiple criteria, including performance in the 2018/19 BC Senior Leagues, performance as part of the BC Bears program and ability to provide strong opposition and meaningful competition for Canada as they build towards their first RWC match on September 26. Several experienced players pepper the list including Brock Staller, Nathan Stewart, Neil Courtney and Ried Watkins, all of whom starred in the comprehensive BC Bears home victory over Prairie Wolfpack in Kelowna this summer. They are joined by the likes of Brandon Schellenberger, Elias Ergas, Michael Smith and Owain Ruttan, all of whom played for the Canada U20 Men’s XV at the 2018 Junior World Rugby Trophy in Bucharest.
“The players are excited to get back on the field to represent BC,” said Head Coach Aaron Takel, “especially those who were part of the squad that overcame a big deficit against the Wolf Pack to win the Best in the West series this summer. Some players have a point to prove, some of them feel that they deserve to be knocking on the door for selection with the national team programs. This is their chance to take on the person currently occupying that position in the Canada camp”.
With a dozen or so BC players already named to the 2019 Canada RWC longlist, a further dozen currently working with the Pacific Pride Academy (and unavailable for selection) and a short time scale to work with, the coaching team was presented with a challenge. However, a testament to the depth of talented players active in the BC Senior Leagues, Takel and his assistant coaches (Curry Hitchborn, James Thompson, Jebb Sinclair and Sean White) will field a team that is likely to capture the interest of many rugby fans in the Province. As Takel commented, “We are lucky that there is so much talent in the BC domestic club leagues that we can put a team of this calibre on the field, and with no preparation, feel confident that we can take on some of the best players in the country.”
As this will be the last opportunity for rugby fans to see the National Men’s XV play on Vancouver Island before their RWC journey begins, a large crowd is expected for the match at Westhills Stadium. The game will be preceded by an intrasquad game by the Pacific Pride Academy, coached by Jamie Cudmore. Pacific Pride, who will be playing as part of the BC Rugby Men’s Premier League this season, will be largely made up of uncapped players from across Canada whose progression suggests they are one to three seasons away from playing senior international rugby.
Canada will wrap-up their 2019 RWC warm-up series against the USA on September 7 at BC Place in Vancouver. This will be the 63rd meeting between the two sides with Canada hoping to secure their first win over their southern rivals since 2013. Tickets for this and the August 30 match are still available, check out the Rugby Canada ticket site for more details.
BC All-Stars vs Canada
August 30, 2019
Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC
KO 6:30 pm (PST)
Streaming for the game at Westhills Stadium on August 30 will be available at bcrugby.com/live
Match preceded by a Pacific Pride Academy intra-squad game, KO 4:30 pm (PST)
Half-Time Rookie Rugby Extravaganza
Attention all rugby fans aged 18 and younger. Would you like to be part of a Half-Time Rookie Rugby Extravaganza at Westhills Stadium or BC Place?
This is your chance to take to the field at half-time during Canada’s RWC warm-up matches and play in front of cheering fans just like your national team heroes. Check out the BC Rugby Membership Benefits page for more details on how you can get involved at each match.