BC Rugby is excited to announce the travelling team for the BC Bears ahead of their second Best of the West match against the Prairie Wolfpack, which kicks off this Saturday at 5:00pm (PT) in Kelowna, BC. The match will be the finale of a two-legged tie, with the first leg ending in defeat for the Bears in Red Deer on June 29.
Head Coach James Thompson has made some changes to his travelling squad as he hopes to gain an advantage over the formidable Wolf Pack side that won the opening match in Alberta. “We have a lot of new faces coming in this weekend, many who have played at this level and higher, and I hope this can give us an edge,” said Thompson.
Last year’s tie with the Wolfpack saw the Bears lose the opening match by just three points in the dying moments of the first fixture in Alberta. However, bolstered by the strong home support at Klahanie Park, the team produced a strong home leg victory, 39-20, to win the tie on aggregate.
In the first leg of the series in Red Deer, the Bears came out strong and played a great first half, but the Prairie side scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to take a strong lead to Kelowna.
“There is no doubt about it, everyone was really disappointed after the last game,” said Thompson. “For many in the side, that was their first crack at rep rugby and maybe the occasion got the better of us. You don’t often get second chances, but fortunately we do this weekend.”
BC’s senior women’s team played four split-squad matches with the Wolfpack at the women’s Best of the West tournament at Kelowna’s City Park earlier this month, with the hosts securing a four-game sweep of their Albertan opponents. The Bears were unable to replicate the success of the senior women’s side in the opening fixture, but will look to fare better on home soil.
Thompson expects an exciting and impressive performance from his side, with lots of ground to cover in the second leg. ” I expect that the game this weekend will be fast and open, we have a lot of points to make up and hopefully we can play some attractive rugby in doing so”
The game is set to kick off at 5:00pm PT in Kelowna at the Apple Bowl, and will be available to stream via the BC Rugby website – bcrugby.com/west.
Neil Courtney – Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
Giuseppe Du Toit – Toronto Arrows (Maple Ridge, BC)
Johnny Franklin – Capilano RFC (North Vancouver, BC)
Jason Gagnier – Westshore RFC (Smithers, BC)
Stephen Gillies – Nanaimo Hornets RFC (Nanaimo, BC)
Dimitri Gostoplous – UBCOB Ravens (Vancouver, BC)
James Kelly – Vancouver Rowing Club (Surrey, BC)
Tom Larder – Nanaimo Hornets RFC (Richmond, North Yorkshire, UK)
Travis Larsen – Austin Elite (Nanaimo, BC)
Blake Mahovic – Axemen Rugby Club (Omagh, IRE)
Colby Mason – UBCOB Ravens (Moranbah, AUS)
Connor McCann – Meraloma Rugby Club (Belleville, ON)
Aaron McLelland – UBCOB Ravens (Ladysmith, BC)
Michael Nieuwenhuysen – James Bay AA (Brampton, ON)
Michael O’Toole – Burnaby Lake RFC (Delta, BC)
Jorden Sandover-Best – UBCOB Ravens (Nanaimo, BC)
Brock Staller – Seattle Seawolves (Langley, BC)
Nathan Stewart – Castaway Wanderers RFC (Williams Lake, BC)
Chris Taylor – UBCOB Ravens (Dromore, UK)
Reid Watkins – Burnaby Lake RFC (Okotoks, AB)
Bryce Worden – Burnaby Lake RFC (Sussex, NB)
Head Coach – James Thompson
Assistant Coach – Simon Fitzgerald
Manager – Brian Hunter