Surrey, White Rock players dot BC Rugby youth squads at westerns

Western Championships set for this weekend in Kelowna

The Semiahmoo Peninsula will be well-represented in the Okanagan this weekend, after BC Rugby announced its rosters for the upcoming Rugby Canada U16 Western Championships.

The tournament is set for July 26-29 in Kelowna, and will feature girls and boys side at both the under-15 and under-16 levels. Teams from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will take part.

The 25-player girls’ U15 squad – which was announced Tuesday afternoon – features four members of the Bayside Sharks rugby club: Robyn Alexander, Mia Bullock, Katie Deslauries and Sadie Gluvic.

B.C.’s U16 girls squad, meanwhile, features Bayside’s Nicolette Duchesne, Earl Marriott Secondary’s Callie Foreman and Cloverdale’s Gracie McAllister, who plays on Vancouver Island at Shawnigan Lake School.

Last year, the U16 rolled through westerns undefeated before losing the championship game, and four players from that side return to this year’s group. The U15 team features nine players who took part in last year’s BC Rugby high-performance camp, a news release notes.

“The BC U15 Women’s management are very excited about the team we have selected for this tournament,” said BC U15 coach Marlene Donaldson.

“The athletes’ performances at the BC U15 women’s training camp provided some surprises and standout performances that made the final selections very difficult.”

On the boys side of the tournament, there are no South Surrey or White Rock players on B.C.’s U15 team, but BC Rugby’s two U16 teams feature a smattering of local talent. The U16 Gold roster – which is made up primarily of Vancouver-area and Vancouver Island players – features Bayside Shark Sterling Rawlins, and the U16 Blue squad has Sharks, David Begin and George Johnson, on its roster.

As well, Elgin Park Secondary rugby coach Everett Konsmo is the head coach of the Blue team.

B.C.’s teams were selected through a process that began back in the spring, when player “identification” sessions were held. Those sessions were coupled with scouting at high school championships and the recent Provincial Regional Championships (PRCs), the largest youth rugby tournament in BC, as coaches formed their teams.

Players were then invited to attend training and selection camps based at UBC where coaching staff whittled down the rosters.



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