BC Bears’ squad announced for 2017 Canadian Rugby Championships

Hibernation is over as the BC Bears face reigning champions, Prairie Wolf Pack, this Friday at UBC's Thunderbird Stadium


BC Rugby is proud to announce the BC Bears squad ahead of their first match in the 2017 Canadian Rugby Championships, sponsored by Langara Fishing Adventures. Canadian and BC stalwarts Phil Mack, Anthony Luca and Jake Illnicki will be leading a squad balanced with young talent and experienced hands against the Prairie Wolf Pack at Thunderbird Stadium this Friday. As the only home game in the competition, The BC Bears are keen to make the most of the home field advantage before the tournament moves to Calgary in August.

The new-look squad, under the direction of Head Coach, Tony Healy of James Bay AA, will be keen to get off to a winning start and make amends for last year. The opening match of the 2016 CRC witnessed a closely fought game against Prairie Wolf Pack, with victory stolen from the Bears in the closing moments. Seven players that started that match are present this year, including Giusseppe DuToit, Doug Fraser, Andrew Lackner, Anthony Luca, Craig McLaughlin, Jordan Reid-Harvey and Brock Staller.

New additions to this year’s line-up include George Barton and Anton N’Gongo who both starred in Canada’s U20 Men’s qualifying victory over the USA in Edmonton this June.  Joining them are Paul Ahn, Luke Campbell, Neil Courtney, Harjun Gill, Jake Ilnicki, Travis Larsen, Phil Mack, Aaron McLelland, Mike Nieuwenhuysen, Nakai Penny, Cam Polson, Gavin Rowell, Taitusi Vikilani and Connor Weyell.

Canada Senior Men’s Team players Ilnicki, Mack and Luca will bring an extra element of experience and composure to the squad off the back of the test series games against Romania, Georgie and USA last month.  With a further five players hailing from the BC Rugby Men’s Premier League 2017 Champions, UBC Thunderbirds, there is no question that the squad is well equipped to deal with the pressure and expectation building ahead of the match.

Senior Manager of Rugby Growth & Development at BC Rugby, Dean Murten, struck a positive tone stating, “I am excited to see how the BC Bears perform in the 2017 CRC.  They started the season well with a good performance against a Canadian Tyee team in May, and they’ve been putting the work in to ensure they are well prepared for a high tempo match.”

Murten went on to say, “The team has a good balance of youth, and experience.  We know the Wolfpack will play a direct physical game and we’re all very excited to get this season off to a great start.”

UBC Thunderbird Stadium will be the venue for this much-anticipated match, with kick off at 7.00pm (PDT). Tickets are available at the gate from 6pm at just $12 for adults and free for minors (please bring valid High School ID).

Match Details
BC Bears vs. Prairie Wolf Pack
2017 Canadian Rugby Championship, sponsored by Langara Fishing Adventures
Thunderbird Stadium – UBC
Friday, July 14, 7pm Kickoff
Tickets at the Gate from 6pm

BC Bears’ Canadian Rugby Championship Schedule
Bears vs. Wolf Pack — July 147pm PDT
Bears vs. Rock — Aug 133pm MDT/2pm PDT
Bears vs. Blues — Aug 165pm MDT/4pm PDT
3rd Place Playoff — Aug 195pm MDT/4pm PDT
CRC Final — Aug 197pm MDT/6pm PDT

BC Bears’ Squad vs. Prairie Wolf Pack

Paul Ahn UBC Thunderbirds Vancouver, BC
George Barton ASM Clermont-Ferrand Duncan, BC
Luke Campbell James Bay AA Victoria, BC
Neil Courtney UBC Thunderbirds Vancouver, BC
Giusseppe DuToit UVIC Vikes Victoria, BC
Doug Fraser Castaway Wanderers RFC Victoria, BC
Harjun Gill UBCOB Ravens RFC Vancouver, BC
Jake Ilnicki Castaway Wanderers RFC Victoria, BC
Andrew Lackner Burnaby Lake RFC Pitt Meadows, BC
Travis Larsen James Bay AA Victoria, BC
Anthony Luca Burnaby Lake RFC Pitt Meadows, BC
Phil Mack James Bay AA Victoria, BC
Craig McLaughlin Burnaby Lake RFC Burnaby, BC
Aaron McLelland UBCOB Ravens RFC Vancouver, BC
Anton N’Gongo Castaway Wanderers RFC Victoria, BC
Mike Nieuwenhuysen James Bay AA Victoria, BC
Nakai Penny UBC Thunderbirds Comox, BC
Cam Polson Castaway Wanderers RFC Victoria, BC
Jordan Reid-Harvey Capilano RFC Vancouver, BC
Gavin Rowell UVIC Vikes RFC Abbotsford, BC
Brock Staller UBC Thunderbirds Vancouver, BC
Taitusi Vikilani Burnaby Lake RFC Burnaby, BC
Connor Weyell UBC Thunderbirds Vancouver, BC
Tony Healy Head Coach Victoria, BC
Phil Mack Assistant Coach Victoria, BC
Des Lynch Manager/Mental Skills Coach Vancouver, BC
Monique Charbonneau Therapist Vancouver, BC

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