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December 6, 2013, VANCOUVER, BC (ISN) – Burnaby Lake Rugby Club’s Joe Dolesau and Julia Sugawara are the 2013 BC Rugby Canadian Direct Insurance Players of the Year, it was announced today by the British Columbia Rugby Union.

Joe Dolesau – 2013 Men’s Player of the Year 

Dolesau was instrumental in leading Burnaby Lake to the Rounsefell Cup Final this past May after the club went 10-4 and clinched the top seed in the Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League regular season. An elusive centre, Dolesau recorded a league-best 13 tries and was second in team scoring with 65 points to his credit. 

The Fijian-born flyer then powered Burnaby Lake to their fourth straight provincial sevens rugby title over the Summer. Dolesau suited up for the BC Bears in five Canadian Rugby Championship matches and earned a call up to Canada-A for the 2013 Americas Rugby Championship. 

Dolesau had been previously recognized at the national level in 2011, when he was named Canadian Rugby Championship co-Player of the Year.  

“Joe has been the player of the year at our club for a number of seasons and deserves this recognition,” said Burnaby head coach Kris de Scossa. “He’s a national caliber athlete and has the qualities that it takes to perform at an elite level. He’s electric and has the ability to hit rocket speed in about three steps. He’s a great option to have for us as a back up goal kicker as well.” 

Dolesau is the first Burnaby Lake rep to be named Player of the Year since Pat Riordan was recognized with the honours in the 2002-03 season. 

Men’s Canadian Direct Insurance Players of the Year

  • 2012-13: Joe Dolesau (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club) 
  • 2011-12: Glen McKinnon (Capilano RFC)
  • 2010-11: Ed Fairhurst (UBCOB Ravens)
  • 2009-10: David Spicer (UVic Vikes)
  • 2008-09: Eric Wilson (Meraloma Rugby Club)
  • 2007-08 Dave Biddle (Meraloma Rugby Club)
  • 2006-07: Adam Van Staveren (Bayside AA)
  • 2005-06: DTH van der Merwe (James Bay AA)
  • 2004-05: Mike Andrew (Capilano RFC)
  • *2003-04: Not Awarded  
  • 2002-03: Pat Riordan (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
  • 2001-02: Mark Lawson (UVic Vikes) 

Julia Sugawara – 2013 Women’s Player of the Year 

For the second time in her decorated rugby career, Julia Sugawara has been recognized as the Canadian Direct Insurance Women’s Player of the Year. Sugawara had previously been recognized with the provincial honours during the 2005-06 season when Burnaby Lake were crowned provincial champions. 

The 2012-13 season was a highlight year for Sugawara as she recored 65 points to lead the Women’s Adidas Premiership in league scoring. Sugawara crossed over for five tries and notched a league-high 20 conversions. Sugawara edged team mate Genevieve Gratton by six points for the league scoring title. 

Led by Sugawara and co-Captain Kim Donaldson, Burnaby Lake lifted their fifth Gordon Harris Memorial Cup in 10 years last may when they reclaimed the coveted trophy from the Velox Valkyries. Sugawara slotted four penalties during the final and led all scorers with 12 points in a narrow 17-13 championship win. 

“For all the high level of athletic skills on display during games, Julia is equally skilled at leadership off the field,” said Burnaby head coach Walt Brandl. “I would argue that Julia’s off-field commitment to the sport and her teammates is where she really stands out. Taking responsibility for one’s own performance is one thing, but Julia takes personal responsibility for the performance of the entire BLRC women’s program.”

Sugawara was also heavily involved in rep rugby this past season helping to coordinate and play for the Vancouver side in the Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup. Sugawara went on to Captain BC at the National Women’s League Finals in Vancouver and earned a call up to the senior women’s national team for the 2013 Nations Cup in Denver, Colorado.     

Sugawara is the first Burnaby Lake rep to earn Player of the Year honours since the 2009-10 season when national team standout Anna Schnell was recognized. 

Women’s BC Rugby Player of the Year Past Recipients

  • 2012-13: Julia Sugawara (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
  • 2011-12: Shannon Kane (Velox Valkyries)
  • 2010-11: Andrea Burk (Capilano RFC)
  • 2009-10: Anna Schnell (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
  • 2008-09: Mandy Marchak (Capilano RFC)
  • 2007-08: Mandy Marchak (Capilano RFC)
  • 2006-07: Charlotte Haley (Velox Valkyries)
  • 2005-06: Julia Sugawara (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club)
  • 2004-05: Rosie Cobbett (UBC Thunderbirds)
  • *2003-04: Not Awarded
  • 2002-03: Kirstie Smith (Douglas Rugby Club)
  • 2001-02: Kelly McCallum (Douglas Rugby Club)