VICTORIA – Rugby Canada’s U20 head coach Jeff Williams announced the U20 Canadian men’s rugby team to play Portugal in their opening game of the Rugby Junior World Trophy on Aug. 28 in Bucharest. The team includes nine names connected to the University of Victoria Vikes men’s rugby team.
Vikes in the starting roster include Gavin Kratz and first-year brother Lachlan Kratz, both of Victoria, as well as local Brennig Prevost. Second-year Vike James O’Neill, of Cochrane, Alta., is captain of the team that also includes Vikes Jack McCarthy, Tyler Rockwerll, Jackson Matthews and Gabriel Casey.

“This U20 group had two long training camps and qualified by beating the USA U20’s in Houston with a two-game total point series,” described Doug Tate, head coach of the Vikes men’s rugby program. “James O’Neill is our openside flanker and was selected as captain for this Canadian team. This is indicative of how he always leads by example with his physical play. There are some really talented players in this group and the Canadian men’s senior team will be looking at these players in the future.

It was as challenging start for seventh-ranked Canada as the second-ranked Portugal took the opening game by a score of 31-29. Temperature at game time was nearly 32 degrees, and players were recovering from a 17-hour trans-continental journey with a 10-hour time change. Canada will hope to continue to benefit from the two training camps in May and June and again in August, and will continue to pride themselves on the culture of hard work and teamwork that they developed.

“Players had to make big sacrifices over hte summer with preparation and will benefit from the good coaching team Jeff Williams has put together,” added Tate. “The Vikes will get these players back on Sept. 15 but wish them all the best at these World championships.”

One player friendly change to which World Rugby have agreed is that all 26 players can dress, a maximum of eight can play, and the eight do not have to be designated a priori.

Matches can be viewed live at

Starting Roster:

1. Gavin Kratz – UVIC Vikes (Victoria, BC)
2. Jack McRogers – McMaster University (Toronto, ON)
3. Tyler Rowland – UBC Thunderbirds (Toronto, ON)
4. Reid Davis – Bayside RFC (Surrey, BC)
5. Quentin James – Perpignan (Vancouver, BC)
6. Peter Ingoldsby – Exmouth RFC (England)
7. James O’Neill – Captain,UVIC Vikes (Cochrane, AB)
8. Michael Smith – UBC Thunderbirds (Surrey, BC)
9. Will Percillier – UBC Thunderbirds (Victoria, BC)
10. Campbell Clarke – Swilers RFC (St. John’s, NL)
11. Jack McCarthy – Vandals RFC (St, John’s, NL)
12. Kevin Vertkas – UBC Thunderbirds (Toronto, ON)
13. Seth Purdey – UCal at Berkeley (Shawnigan Lake, BC)
14. Elias Ergas – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)
15. Brennig Prevost – UVIC Vikes (Victoria, BC)
16. Tyler Rockwell – James Bay AA (Calgary, AB)
17. Emerson Prior – Trent University (Toronto, ON)
18. Guershom Mukendi – Stoney Creek RFC (Mississauga, ON)
19. Owain Ruttan – UBC Thunderbirds (Toronto, ON)
20. Jackson Matthews – UVIC Vikes (Montreal, QC)
21. Brandon Schellenberger – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
22. Lachlan Kratz – Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC)
23. Josiah Morra – Toronto Saracens (Toronto, ON)
24. Tyler Duguid – Nor’Westers (Edmonton, AB)
25. Mitchell Wainman – (Banff, AB)
26. Gabriel Casey – Bytown Blues (Ottawa, ON)
Canada U20 Team for Junior World Trophy:

Canada’s schedule: 

August 28 – Canada vs. Portugal
September 1 – Canada vs. Uruguay
September 5 – Canada vs Fiji
September 9 – Canada vs. TBC


Gethin Watts – Program Leader
Jeff Williams – Head Coach
Adam Roberts – assistant coach
Pat Parfrey – Manager
Kiyomi Thompson – Physiotherapist
Mylan Clairmont – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Derek Pue – Video Analyst
Shannon Houston – Doctor
U20 Support Group:
Karl Fix – Saskatchewan(Chair)
Andrew Purdey – BC
Mike Holmes – BC
David Robertson – BC
Bill Webb – Ontario
Pat Parfrey – Newfoundland