Photo Credit BC Rugby
VANCOUVER, BC – BC Rugby is pleased to announce the rosters for the U23 Men’s and Women’s Sevens Rugby Teams that will be travelling to the Las Vegas Invitational tournament, taking place March 3rd to March 5th, 2016.
The Men’s Team will be entering the Aces Division, while the Women’s Team will be in the Open Division. Following the Las Vegas Invitational, BC Rugby will be fielding Provincial U23 Men’s and Women’s Teams in the inaugural Vancouver Rugby Festival, taking place March 10th to March 11th, 2016. The rosters for those BC Rugby Teams will be announced closer to the event date.
The BC Rugby U23 Sevens Teams represent an ideal platform for players to sharpen their Sevens Rugby skills against high quality international opponents, with the goal of developing BC Rugby athletes for future National Sevens Team representation.
“I’m really excited about overseeing these Teams, as this is a crucial development group for BC Rugby,” said Aaron Frisby, the BC Rugby U23 Sevens Head Coach. “Last year’s Las Vegas tour was a great success and we are looking to build on that as players become more familiar with the sevens game. It will be great to to showcase our abilities both on the road in Las Vegas and at home in Vancouver.”
“I’d like to extend congratulations to these athletes on their selection and thank Aaron and the supporting coaches for the work that they’ve already completed in assembling these two very competitive teams,” said Annabel Kehoe, CEO of BC Rugby. “BC Rugby, with some brilliant corporate partners, has been leading the country with its Sevens Rugby programs and we aim to continue that trend at various Sevens Tournaments this spring.”
The Women’s U23 Team had an impressive debut performance at the 2015 edition of the Las Vegas Invitational, going undefeated through the pool stages of the Open Division before bowing out in the Cup Semi Final. Five players from that squad are back for this year’s tournament, and it is expected that the team will contend in their division once again.
Demi Stamatakis will be one of the on-field leaders, drawing on her recent experience with Rugby Canada’s Fifteens development team in matches against England. Stamatakis and her BC teammates will need to adapt to the change of pace between the two versions of the sport, with many names on the sevens squad being familiar ones from BC Rugby’s Senior and Age-Grade Fifteens Teams.
The Men’s Team will be tested in the Aces Division, which is a step up from the Open Division where the BC Team played in 2015, but the strong depth throughout the side should allow them to be very competitive at the higher level.
Team announcements for the Las Vegas Invitational are also pending for the BC Rugby U18 and U16 Teams, following a busy winter of training with BC Rugby’s Elite Youth Girls’ and Boys’ Sevens Programs. Following Las Vegas, the BC Rugby U18 Boys and Girls Teams will be competing at Rugby Canada’s inaugural Canadian Rugby Sevens U18 Championships, while the U16 Teams will compete at the Vancouver Rugby Festival.
Schedules for the 2016 Las Vegas Invitational tournament were not available at the time of this release, but will later be posted to www.usasevens.com/las-vegas/las-vegas-invitational.
Similarly, schedules for the 2016 Vancouver Rugby Festival have not yet been finalized, but will be posted to www.bcrugby.com/vanrugbyfest
BC Rugby U23 Women’s Sevens Team for Las Vegas Invitational
Chelsea Fowler of Mission (Abbotsford RFC)
Camilla Maslo of Surrey (Brit Lions RC)
Courtney Sims of Victoria (Westshore RFC)
Demi Stamatakis of Burnaby (SFU Rugby)
Elyssa Phillipson of Abbotsford (Abbotsford RFC)
Jess Harvey of Vancouver (Burnaby Lake RC)
Kara Galbraith of Victoria (Castaway Wanderers)
Laura Crowe-Hutchon of Victoria (Castaway Wanderers)
Lauren Sargent of Victoria (Castaway Wanderers)
Mackenzie Fowler of Mission (Abbotsford RFC)
Maira Acevado of Surrey (Bayside RC)
Meghan Wellis of White Rock (Abbotsford RFC)
Allie White of Victoria (Westshore RFC)
Angela Davies of Ladysmith (Cowichan RFC)
Karly Reum of Surrey (SFU Rugby)
Matilda Knight of Victoria (Westshore RFC)
Morgan Walker of Abbotsford (Abbotsford RFC)
Taylor Reidlinger of Okotoks, AB (Castaway Wanderers)
BC Rugby U23 Men’s Sevens Team for Las Vegas Invitational
Brendan Kelliher of Victoria (Castaway Wanderers)
Aaron Hersant of Victoria (UVic Rugby)
Chris Wadsworth of Coquitlam (SFU Rugby)
Connor Llewellyn of West Vancouver (Westshore RFC)
Dante Hawse of Surrey (Brit Lions RC)
David Dinbandhu of Surrey (Brit Lions RC)
Jared Douglas of Abbotsford (Abbotsford RFC)
Jason Gagnier of Victoria (Westshore RFC)
Jordan Tait of Abbotsford (Abbotsford RFC)
Mark Cheong of Vancouver (UBC Rugby)
Mike Dalsin of Victoria (no club affiliation)
Tomasi Vataiki of Richmond (Burnaby Lake RC)
Gino Paolella of Langley (Burnaby Lake RC)
Shane Dagg of Delta (Burnaby Lake RC)
Cam Hall of Ladysmith (James Bay Athletic Association)
Darwin Guevara of Mission (Abbotsford RFC)
Kieran Danovarro of Port Moody (SFU Rugby)
Niki Belyea of Victoria (James Bay Athletic Association)