Hubert Buydens of Castaway Wanderers RC has been called up to lead Canada into the Americas Rugby Championship. His Club teammates will open the action this Saturday in Langford with a trio of curtain raiser games, followed by Canada versus Uruguay (photo: Jose Lagman / Rugby Canada)
BC Rugby Clubs Castaway Wanderers and Capilano will play a trio of divisional matches this Saturday in Langford as curtain raisers for the first fixture of the Americas Rugby Championships, which sees Canada meet Uruguay.
Premier Women‘s action kicks off the day at Goudy Field in Langford starting at 11:30am. The Library Square Cup Men’s Division 1 match up will start at 12 noon in Westhills Stadium, followed by the Canadian Direct Insurance Premier Men’s League match at 1:30pm. The Americas Rugby Championship match will get underway at 4:00pm.
“It should be a great festival atmosphere,” said Castaway Wanderers Men’s Coach Lee Lindwall. “It will be good for our players to play in front of a big crowd, and then cheer on some of their teammates who will be playing for Canada.”
Several of the club’s top men’s players are being considered for Canada’s lineup against Uruguay, including Hubert Buydens, Ray Barkwill, and Djustice Sears-Duru, all of whom suited up for Canada at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
On the women’s side, Capilano (5-3) claimed a victory over Castaway Wanderers (5-2) in their last encounter, winning a hard fought contest 17-5.
“Our Senior Women’s Team have been strong all year, and face a tough rival in Capilano,” said Castaway Wanderers Club President Don Swainson. “Skill and pace will make the difference in that contest and in our two men’s games as well. Look for a big clash up front and lots of pace in the backs in those matches. We expect an exciting day in Langford and are pleased to be part of the curtain-raisers in the big stadium.”
On the men’s side, this will be the first meeting of the year between the two clubs. Capilano’s Men won the opening game of their Spring Rugby season against UBC 20-14 in the Library Square Cup Division last Saturday, while losing 21-5 against UBC’s Premier team. Castaway Wanderers’ Men had a bye from league competition last weekend, but played a Friday night exhibition game against Rugby Canada’s U20 Men’s XV Squad at Westhills Stadium.
“We’re going to be used to the field, the pace and the bounces,” said Coach Lindwall.
That familiarity and a boisterous crowd of local supporters could make a difference for his team on the field. Not to be outdone, however, Capilano RFC are expected to bring a couple buses of travelling supporters who will be cheering on their club.
“We have a great combination of veterans and talented young players on our Premier Team,” said Capilano Men’s Coach Keith Reeves. “Cody Pittman, for example, is a big unit. He’s a fast, exciting player, whose ball handling and decision making have really come on. Chris Robinson, Glenn McKinnon and Charlie Jones provide that veteran leadership on the field, and this will be a great opportunity for all our players to showcase their talent.”
“I truly believe that BC Rugby players have the skills needed by Canada to help them get to the next level,” said Reeves.
“Club Rugby and grassroots Rugby are the foundation of our sport in Canada,” said Jim Dixon, Rugby Canada’s GM of Operations and Performance. “The strength of our Provincial Unions and Club Teams is a crucial element of our player development pathway as we continue to identify and develop high performance athletes for our National Programs. Saturday will be a great opportunity for fans of both the Clubs and National Team to enjoy a full, entertaining day of rugby, with the top men’s fifteens players in our country on display. “
Saturday, February 6th, 2016, Goudy Field, Langford
11:30am – Castaway Wanderers RC vs Capilano RFC – BC Premier Women’s Division
Saturday, February 6th, 2016, Westhills Stadium, Langford
12:00pm – Castaway Wanderers RC vs Capilano RFC – Library Square Cup Division
1:30pm – Castaway Wanderers RC vs Capilano RFC – Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League
4:00pm – Canada vs Uruguay – Americas Rugby Championship