May 20 2014 ISN – DUNCAN, BC – One of the country¹s oldest sporting trophies will return to
the forefront of the local BC rugby scene on Sunday afternoon, as regional
representative teams prepare to battle for the storied McKechnie Cup.
back to 1896, the trophy features a triple-header round-robin competition
with representation from Fraser Valley, Vancouver and Vancouver Island
Crimson Tide. The opening round of the 2014 competition gets underway this
Sunday, May 25 at Cowichan Rugby Club when current title holders Fraser
Valley travel to Vancouver Island.
Along with the McKechnie Cup, the BC Rugby Cups Competitions also feature
the women¹s Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup and the Under-20 Men¹s Dunbar Keg.
Fraser Valley are defending senior men¹s and women¹s champions and Vancouver
currently holds the coveted Dunbar Keg.
This year¹s competitions coincide with the 125th Anniversary of the British
Columbia Rugby Union. The McKechnie Cup is being used as a selection tool
for the BC Bears, the senior men¹s provincial team, that will be touring to
South America in July and competing for a Canadian Rugby Championship
MacTier Cup in August and September.
2014 BC RUGBY CUPS COMPETITIONS SCHEDULE:
Sun. May 25th: Fraser Valley at Vancouver Island
Sat. June 7th: Vancouver Island at Vancouver
Sat. June 14th: Vancouver at Fraser Valley
ROUND ONE – MATCH DETAILS:
BC Rugby Cups Competitions
Date: Sunday, May 25, 2014
Fraser Valley at Vancouver Island
Location: Cowichan Rugby Club, 1860 Herd Road, Ducnan, BC | V9L 5W4
12:15pm (Men¹s Under-20) Dunbar Keg
12:45pm (Women¹s) Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup
2:30pm (Men¹s) McKechnie Cup
2013 marked the revival of the McKechnie Cup and saw the trophy contested
for the first time since 2004. Fraser Valley were convincing winners,
downing Vancouver Island 25-7 at Westhills Stadium and then Vancouver 46-15
at Brockton Oval. Preparations for the 2014 opener are well underway for the
Vancouver Island Crimson Tide who will look to better last year¹s 1-1
The senior men¹s Crimson Tide have been practicing alongside the U20¹s at
Brentwood College and representation has included players from South-Island
clubs Velox, Castaway Wanderers, James Bay and UVic. The North Island has
also been well represented with players attending from Port Alberni, Nanaimo
³With the reestablishment of the BC Bears provincial team and moving the
McKechnie to May (2013 competition was in January), you can see every club
is taking the competition more seriously this year. From a Subunion
perspective, the best part about our training has been pretty much every
club has been represented,² added Goodland. ³Players know that if they want
to get noticed and make their way to the provincial program, they have to
play in the McKechnie Cup.²
Hosting this weekend¹s fixtures in Cowichan also marks the return of
representative rugby to the North Island region after several years of
feature matches played in Victoria. For Goodland, hosting the Fraser Valley
in Cowichan has the benefit of home field advantage and also being able to
provide a major fixture for the North Island community.
³Cowichan are always great hosts and it¹s important that this Island team
has representation from both the South and the North,² Goodland added. ³It¹s
tough to be hosting the defending champions in the opening round but I¹m
definitely glad to be facing them at home this year.²
2013¹s clash between the two sides in Abbotsford was a bruising affair that
saw Vancouver Island pushed around the park by a physical Valley side.
Featuring a number of heavy-hitters with provincial team experience, Fraser
Valley ran in four tries to the Island¹s one. Captain Cody Rockson was at
the forefront of the attack, providing two tries before Chris Chalmers and
Craig McLaughlin each went over.
³We¹re expecting another challenge,² said Fraser Valley Head Coach Kris de
Scossa, ahead of this weekend¹s games. ³Last year the Island had a number of
Canada prospects and U20¹s that went on to play for the national team. On
paper, you would have to say that like last year, the Island will be the
favourites heading in.²
Fraser Valley¹s preseason has also been well attended with players from
Burnaby Lake, Bayside, Richmond, Surrrey, Kelowna and Abbotsford making
themselves available. De Scossa expects another strong showing from this
year¹s squad, including last year¹s Captain Rockson.
³We are expecting Cody to again show that he¹s a contender to make it to the
highest level,² de Scossa said. ³It¹s been made very clear that the
McKechnie Cup is the pathway to BC and the national team, and I see Cody as
a player more than able to make that step up. He¹s one of those players that
has the conditioning of a professional athlete.²
Sunday¹s fixtures get underway at Cowichan Rugby Club at 12:15 with the
Under-20 Dunbar Keg match kicking off a triple-header. The women¹s teams
will scrum down at 12:45 in the opening round of the Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup
and the McKechnie Cup fixture is slated for a 2:30pm start.
Round two of the Cups Competitions will see Vancouver Island away to
Vancouver on June 7th. The third round will see Vancouver¹s three teams away
to Fraser Valley.
Check back to www.bcrugby.com for roster announcements.
About the BC Rugby Cups Competitions
The BC Rugby Cups Competitions are a series of representative rugby matches
to be played over three weekends. The series gets underway this Sunday, May
25th with the Vancouver Island Rugby Union hosting the Fraser Valley Rugby
Union. The competition will provide BC athletes the opportunity to further
profile their abilities for both Provincial and national team selectors.