The Earl Marriott Secondary Mariners rugby program hosted a number of Indigenous rugby players from across the province last weekend – a two-day event that culminated in a series of exhibition matches in South Surrey Sunday morning.
The B.C.-based Thunder Rugby program was in South Surrey to host a selection camp, as program organizers aim to put a group together that will travel to New Zealand for a rugby tour later this year. The camp was originally slated to be held in Squamish, but was relocated to EMS.
Earl Marriott rugby coach and school athletic director Adam Roberts told Peace Arch News that the school was “very excited” to host the Thunder, and he hoped that some of Marriott’s First Nation players – Roberts mentioned Easton Arnouse, Taylor LaGarde and Joe Rosette specifically – would make the cut when the time comes to select the team.
Roberts said he’d been looking for a way to get EMS involved with Thunder Rugby ever since he heard LaGarde’s grandfather – a member of Semiahmoo First Nation – mention it during the Reconciliation Day event along the White Rock waterfront last September.
“We’ve been trying to connect with them for awhile… it’s really a remarkable program,” Roberts said.
– with files from Nick Greenizan