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BC Rugby – Vancouver – June 1, 2018: The first ever BC U23 Men’s Rugby Team will take on the Canada U20s at Abbotsford’s Rotary Stadium on Friday, June 1st, kickoff set for 7pm. It promises to be an exciting match, as the U20s look to ramp up performance ahead of a showdown against the USA later this month. Canada is aiming to qualify for the World Junior Trophy competition and boast a talented roster, including 13 BC players.  BC’s U23 Men’s Team will seek to give their opponents a serious challenge, testing their speed, strength and skill to the test.
Originally, the addition of a U23 team to the BC Provincial Representative Program was scheduled for 2019.  However, when presented with the opportunity to play a match as part of Canada’s U20 Summer preparation, a team was put together. Head coach Dean Murten explained that the BC U23 Men’s team is another chance to provide development for talented BC players, filling a gap between Age-Grade Representative rugby and the senior, national level. Murten went on to say that the BC side will play a fast-paced, expansive style with lots of attack, intent on giving the Canada U20s a very real challenge in all areas of the game.
Athletes on both teams have performed well in recent matches, increasing the anticipation of Friday’s match.  Canada’s U20s overcame Fraser Valley’s U23 Men 79-19 last week, a physical confrontation against a persistent opponent.  Head Coach Jeff Williams remarked after the game “The thing that I think we’ve really got right is we have a group guys who want to play. The character is there, so that’s really important”.  In BC’s lineup, players like Fraser Hurst (UBC Thunderbirds) and David Dinbandhu (Bayside Sharks RFC) will both be looking to wreak havoc on their opponents, as they did last week at the McKechnie Cup Final in Duncan.

Canada’s two-match qualifying series against the USA, which is decided based on aggregate points, will be held in on June 12th and 16th in Houston, Texas.  If Canada qualifies for the World Rugby Trophy it will be played in Bucharest, Romania August 24 to Sept 10 and will be preceded by a camp in Shawnigan Lake School Aug 15-23.  With Hong Kong (Asia), Fiji (Oceania) and Namibia (Africa) already confirmed as participants for 2018 along with Samoa, who were relegated from last year’s World Rugby U-20 Championship, and the host nation, Romania, there is only the North American qualification spot left to fill.
Friday’s game is the only planned match for the BC U23 Men’s team in 2018, meaning it’s a big opportunity for players to play hard, as well as enjoy the experience.  The fixture will take place on Friday, June 1st at Abbotsford’s Rotary Stadium. K-O is set for 7pm, following a full day of action from the BC High School Boys’ Provincial XVs Championships.
Team Rosters

BC U23 Men
1          Liam Murray – James Bay AA (Langley, BC)
2          Stephen Ng – James Bay AA (Ottawa, ON)
3          Nick Hilderbrand – Burnaby Lake RFC (Victoria, BC)
4          Trevor Helgason – Queens University (Vancouver, BC)
5          Jesse Burns – UVic Vikes (Vancouver, BC)
6          Tatusi Vikilani – Burnaby Lake RFC (Burnaby, BC)
7          Jacob Ikeda – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)
8          Nick Allen – UBC Thunderbirds (North Vancouver, BC)
9          Cole Keffer – UBC Thunderbirds (North Vancouver, BC)
10        Josh Theil – Abbotsford RFC (Aldergrove, BC)
11        Jossiah Morra – Castaway Wanderers RFC (Victoria, BC)
12        John Franklin – Capilano RFC (Vancouver, BC)
13        David Dinbandhu – Bayside Sharks RFC (Delta, BC)
14        Cathal Long – UVic Vikes (Vancouver, BC)
15        Fraser Hurst – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)
16        Nick Frost – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)
17        Hans Stander – United RFC (Coquitlam, BC)
18        Donald Carson – UBC Thunderbirds (Delta, BC)
19        Jason Hignell – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)
20        Siaki Vikilani – Burnaby Lake RFC (Burnaby, BC)
21        Callum Botcher – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)
27        Christoph Stangl – UBC Thunderbirds (North Vancouver, BC)
23        Gino Paolella – Burnaby Lake RFC (Langley, BC)
24        Noah Jensen – Abbotsford RFC (Abbotsford, BC)
25        Will Sauder – Queens University (Vancouver, BC)
26        Flynn Heyes – UBC Thunderbirds (North Vancouver, BC)
22        Evan Norris – UBC Thunderbirds (Victoria, BC)
28        Nicolas Mouret – UVic Vikes (North Saanich, BC)
29        Logan Smith – Bayside Sharks RFC (White Rock, BC)
Dean Murten – Head Coach
Tony LaCarte – Assistant Coach
Canada U20 Men
1          Gavin Kratz – UVIC Vikes (Victoria, BC)
2          Jack McRogers – McMaster University (Toronto, ON) 
3          Tyler Rowland – UBC Thunderbirds (Toronto, ON)
4          Reid Davis – Bayside RFC (Surrey, BC)
5          Quentin James – Perpignan (Vancouver, BC)
6          Michael Smith – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)
7          James O’Neill – UVIC Vikes (Cochrane, AB)
8          Jackson Matthews – UVIC Vikes (Montreal, QC)
9          Will Percillier – UBC Thunderbirds (Victoria, BC)
10        Steven Commerford – Brock University (Toronto, ON) 
11        Jack McCarthy – Vandals RFC (St, John’s, NL)
12        Kevin Vertkas – UBC Thunderbirds (Toronto, ON) 
13        Seth Purdey – UCal at Berkeley (Shawnigan Lake, BC)
14        Elias Ergas – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC) 
15        James Hammond – Toronto Nomads (Toronto, ON) 
16        Tyler Wong – UVIC Vikes (Vancouver, BC) 
17        Sam Turner – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)
18        Emerson Prior – Trent University (Toronto, ON)
19        Brandon Schellenberger – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC) 
20        Harrison Smith – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC) 
21        Owain Ruttan – UBC Thunderbirds (Toronto, ON)
22        Logan Martin-Feek – UVIC Vikes (Victoria, BC)
23        Tyler Rockwell – James Bay AA (Calgary, AB) 
24        Peter Ingoldsby – Exmouth RFC (Devon, England) 
25        Ben Newhook – Vandals RFC (St, John’s, NL) 
26        Brock Gallagher – James Bay AA (Edmonton, AB) 
27        Mostyn Findley – UVIC Vikes (Regina, SK) 
28        Stephen Mallard – Swiler’s RFC (St. John’s, NL) 
29        Brennig Prevost – UVIC Vikes (Victoria, BC) – injured

Jeff Williams – Head Coach
Adam Roberts – Assistant Coach
Adam Kleeberger – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Pat Parfrey – Manager
Mike Flynn – Co-Manager
Derrick Pue – Video analyst
Kiyomi Thompson – Physiotherapist

More information about BC Rugby

The British Columbia Rugby Union, commonly known as BC Rugby, is the governing body for Rugby in British Columbia and is a Provincial Union of Rugby Canada, the national governing body. Representing over 7,500 individuals registered through around 60 Member Clubs and Associations across the Province, BC Rugby leads and manages the sport with the aim to grow participation and develop excellence in all games of Rugby and in all facets of the sport.