Vancouver, BC – October 4, 2016: BC Rugby is excited to announce that funding has been awarded by the Canadian Rugby Foundation to invest in a significant change to BC Rugby’s Provincial XVs (Fifteens) Pathway for both boys’ and girls’ teams.
BC Rugby will be leading an international tour for the U18 Boys’ and Girls’ XVs Teams in the summer of 2017. While the U18 Teams will be touring, the U17 Teams will step up and strongly represent BC at the Canadian Rugby U18 Championship.
The aim of this change is to provide an elite competitive experience that supports the development of world-class players at a critical stage of athlete development. With its strong record of winning age-grade National Championships, BC Rugby is providing both the U17 and U18 players with the opportunity to push their playing skills, to be challenged and to grow into stronger individuals, both on and off the field.
With this new strategy, BC Rugby is giving National teams a competitive edge by delivering players with international experience. In addition, by coordinating this tour, BC Rugby will develop strong relationships with the hosting teams which could bring more international competition to BC. Lastly, this tour will give BC Rugby more international exposure and it will be an opportunity to showcase the talent and potential of BC players.
CEO of BC Rugby, Annabel Kehoe, shares, “This is a really exciting time for Rugby and particularly those players that aspire to be world-class. Never before has there been so many opportunities to represent Canada in Rugby and BC Rugby not only aspires to have more BC players on those National Teams, but for BC players to be leading our National Teams to success. I’d like to thank the Canadian Rugby Foundation and their Board for sharing this vision with BC Rugby and providing such strong support.”
“The Canadian Rugby Foundation is excited to support the development of grassroots rugby in BC and the transition of high school aged players to the next level,” said Foundation Chairman, Mike Holmes. “We believe that providing a touring and cultural experience to these young men and women will be instrumental in helping them become better rugby players and people.”
In 2017, both Teams will tour together and their destination will most likely be Ireland in late July/early August, with the aim to overlap with the beginning of the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup. If this tour proves to be a success it could become a permanent part of BC’s XVs Pathway. By providing high-quality experiences, BC Rugby aims to produce even more international champions for Canada.
Each touring team will have a full 25 player roster with a Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Team Manager and Athletic Therapist. The Gerald McGavin Coaching Bursary, administered in partnership with BC Rugby and the Canadian Rugby Foundation, will support the appointment of two Assistant Coaches (one per Team) who would accompany the Teams and then extend their tour to receive mentoring with an elite, professional rugby environment.
BC Rugby is now working to coordinate the exact itinerary and finalise the budget, and will shortly publish a new U18 XVs Teams Selection Policy that shall clearly outline the process and criteria for selection to the BC Rugby U18 Boys’ and Girls’ XVs Teams and any relevant pre-requisites (e.g. valid Passport). BC Rugby will also shortly share more details on Head Coach and Gerald McGavin Coaching Bursary sponsored Assistant Coach positions and the open recruitment/nomination process.
An international tour is a significant undertaking and BC Rugby will be looking for further sponsorship to ensure that the cost to players can be subsidized as much as possible as well as providing a bursary fund to support those players that require additional financial support to make the tour.
In conclusion, by lifting the standard and providing the highly-desired competitive experiences, BC players will be prepared to succeed on the world stage.