By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
November 16, 2012, VICTORIA (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s rugby team will be visiting familiar faces at Windsor Park on Nov. 17, as the Vikes men will face off with the Castaway-Wanderers RFC at 2:45 p.m. The two Vancouver Island-based clubs are currently two points apart in the CDI Premier League standings, with the Vikes in fourth with 16 points.
Although both teams compete in the CDI Premier League, Saturday’s points will only count towards the Island League standings and ultimately, the Barnard Cup.
With the Canadian National Sevens team in the United Arab Emirates for the IRB International Dubai Sevens Tournament, the Vikes will have to go ahead without three key players – Phil Mack (Victoria, BC), Sean Duke (Vancouver, BC) and Nathan Hirayama (Richmond, BC).
Fresh-faced Nathan Yanagiya (North Vancouver, BC) will have his opportunity to suit up for the Vikes as the freshman will earn his first starting position this weekend.
“This is Nathan’s first start for the Vikes XV,” said Vikes men’s rugby assistant coach, Rick Farrally. “Nathan is a product of the BC Elite Youth Sevens Program, which graduated several exceptional players last year. We expect all these players to be on the varsity team in the months coming.”
Also in the mix-up for the Saturday game is Patrick Kay (Duncan, B.C.) who will move from fullback to fly-half to replace the talents of Hirayama, while Kane Wyatt (Shawnigan Lake, B.C.) will fill in for Kay at fullback. Callum Busfield (Vernon, BC) will start inf hte front-row, while Liam Chisholm (Kenora, Ont.) and Luke Campbell (Victoria, BC) will enter as the lock and No. 8 positions, respectively.
In addition to the three national team members absent, Remi Anctil (Vancouver, BC) and Beau Parker (Vancouver, BC) will also not be dressing, giving room for Keaton Styles (White Rock, BC), Luke McCloskey (Victoria, B.C.) and rookie Hayden Evans.
“Overall, this game on Saturday allows us to see who can seize an opportunity and rotate into positions,” added Farrally. “With our Sevens players away during the season, it is essential that we find out who can fill these vital roles and positions.”
The Vikes will kick off at 2:45 p.m. at Windsor Park.