June 18,2014(ISN) – VANCOUVER, BC – British Columbia’s Elite Youth Sevens under-16 men’s provincial program returned home from Germany with another piece of hardware this past weekend, having lifted the Plate at the Heidelberg Sevens. The trip was the first European tour for the BCEY7’s program and the young charges didn’t disappoint, finishing fifth overall in a competition that featured sides from France, Netherlands, Monaco and Kenya.
The U16s went 2-2 on the opening day of competition defeating German provincial teams Bayern and NRJ, before falling to Dutch Academy side Zuid-West and French Academy reps AD-Alpes Maritimes.
BC advanced to the Cup Quarterfinals where they were narrowly beaten 19-17 by a French Academy side from the Toulon region.
“Our players were pushed to another level and it was an important tour for them to be able to experience that,” said BC Head Coach Shane Thompson. “The quarterfinals was where you could see the players realized they could play against the competition we were up against and we only lost by two points.”
BC went on to defeat German rugby reps LBW-Rugby 35-0 in the Plate semi-finals before downing French region Lorraine 29-5 in the Plate Final.
“We don’t always get to play top quality teams in North America so this was a good test to see where our program is at,” added Thompson. “Our guys weren’t used to working that hard in all their matches and it’s great for them to test themselves against players from other countries.”
The tour was a great step forward for the BC under-16s who will now have another two years in the BC Elite Youth Sevens program with Thompson. The BC Elite Youth Sevens was implemented to develop players for future international competitions and Thompson believes this tour has opened his players’ eyes to the opportunities and what it takes to make the next level.
“It’s important that we take these guys on tour so they can experience what it’s like to play with jet-lag and have to compete under those conditions,” Thompson added. “They are training on the road and going up against opposition they have no background on and playing quality teams. International rugby can be challenging and this is a great way to expose them to those opportunities.”
The dozen players will now go back to their regions and compete in the u16s age grade at the Victoria International Sevens. After the summer season wraps up, the reps will then be eligible for the BC U17-U18 Sevens teams that travel to Las Vegas and Hong Kong in 2015.
“We are always looking to build depth to our program and I’m excited to see this group advance through their rugby careers,” Thompson added. “There will also be plenty of future opportunities for players who didn’t make this squad to play Sevens and hopefully make our tours in the future.”
The Victoria International Sevens is scheduled for July 11-12 at the University of Victoria. The competition will feature age grade competitions beginning in U14 Boys all the way through to U18 Men and Women. For more information, contact BCEY7’s Head Coach Shane Thompson at email@example.com
BCEY7’S HEIDELBERG SEVENS ROSTER
Name – (School / Rugby Club)
Logan Martin-Feek (Clermont / Velox Valhallians)
Jonah Hall (Oak Bay / Castaway Wanderers)
Brennig Prevost (Glenlyon Norfolk / Castaway Wanderers)
Brandon Schellenberger (Oak Bay / Castaway Wanderers)
Brayden Tate (Oak Bay / Castaway Wanderers)
Elias Ergas (Collingwood / Capilano RFC)
Michael Mann (Delta Secondary / Brit Lions RFC)
Will Sauder (St. George’s School / Vancouver Rowing Club)
Matthew Houghton (Rockridge / Capilano RFC)
Michael Smith (Earl Marriott)
Jared Thind (Southridge / Bayside Athletic Association)
Head Coach / Manager – Shane Thompson