By James Nielsen, Vikes Communications, with files from BBC Sport
September 17, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Former University of Victoria scrum-half Phil Mack will head to Europe to join Ospreys rugby club on a short-term professional contract, joining fellow Canadians Tyler Ardron and Jeff Hassler on the premier club’s roster.
Under the tutelage of head coach Doug Tate, Mack was a standout player with the Vikes. Through his four-year career at UVic the 27-year-oldestablished himself as a prominent player on the international stage for Canada, winning the Canadian Sevens Player of the Year in 2010, an award voted on by 1,188 Canadian rugby fans, coaches and fellow players from across the country.
“Phil was a very exciting player for us, he won us many games on individual effort,” said Tate. “He’s a very talented offensive and defensive player. He plays at 100 miles per-hour and with a lot of passion.”
Mack’s new team competes in RoboDirect Pro12, the top rugby league in Europe. His last minute signing as an injuryreplacement fills a void left at scrum-half for the Ospreys and also signals a large opportunity for Mack to show coaches his skills in real-game situations and potentially secure a longer contract in the process.
“We are pleased to have been able to secure Phil’s services and he will provide us with some much-needed cover,” said Ospreys rugby operations manager Andy Lloyd.
Mack, a product of Victoria, British Columbia, has played 19 times for Canada in total, 14 of them capped. Prior to signing his contract with the Ospreys, he had been playing for the British Columbia Bears in the Canadian Rugby Championship – Canada’s top flight.