Newly created Rugby Canada development side set to join BC Men’s Premier League

Newly created Rugby Canada development side set to join BC Men's Premier League for 2019/20 season

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BC Rugby has finalized and released all Senior Club Divisional schedules for the 2019/20 season. The Men’s Premier League, sponsored by the Onni Group, will include Rugby Canada’s newly established Pacific Pride Academy as an exhibition side meeting all twelve Men’s Premier sides at their home fields.

With Jaime Cudmore as Head Coach, the Pacific Pride will first meet Castaway Wanderers on September 28, followed by the University of Victoria on October 5. Reigning Rounsefell Cup Champions, UBC Old Boys are the third match-up for the Academy side, which will be largely made up of uncapped players from across Canada who are close to breaking into professional rugby and representing Canada on the world stage.

The Pacific Pride’s schedule includes a homecoming for Cudmore, who established his rugby career with Capilano RFC. Expect to see a large crowd fill the stands at the Capilano Clubhouse on March 28, 2020, to welcome home one of Canada’s most successful rugby players, having played at four Rugby World Cups and some of the biggest professional rugby clubs in the world.

In other divisions, fans will have to wait until October 19 to see a re-match between the 2019 Men’s Division 1 Finalists with Bayside hosting Abbotsford. It will be a weekend of Final rematches as 2019 Men’s Division 2 Champions, Langley, will host Kamloops. It will be another month until a rematch from the 2019 Men’s Division 3 Final when reigning Champions, Squamish, will travel to Richmond on November 16 along with their women’s sides for a Club day at King George Park.

All men’s divisions get underway on September 7, coinciding with Rugby Canada’s final World Cup warm-up against USA at BC Place. The three women’s divisions will commence September 14, with their season broken into two halves as Clubs work together to grow women’s participation. All divisions, including the women’s spring divisions, will conclude with Club Finals on May 2, 2020, on Vancouver Island. Club Finals haven’t been held on the Island since 2016 when several divisional finals took place at MacDonald Park, however, this will be the first time all Finals take place outside of the Lower Mainland.

This season’s club declarations have provided some early showings of growth within some Clubs. Squamish Axemen have added a second men’s side, now competing in Division 2 and 3, as well as a women’s side that will participate in the fall season which is structure to help develop women’s rugby. Kamloops have also added a second men’s side, matching Squamish in Division 2 and 3, while Bayside has added a second Women’s side, now matching Capilano RFC with three men’s sides and two women’s sides.

Pacific Pride Academy Schedule

Sept 28 – vs. Castaway Wanderers

Oct 5 – vs. University of Victoria

Oct 26 – vs. UBCOB Ravens

Nov 2 – vs. Vancouver Rowing Club

Nov 16 – vs. Westshore

Nov 23 – vs. Seattle Saracens

Feb 8 – vs. UBC

Feb 22 – vs. Meralomas

Feb 29 – vs. Burnaby Lake RFC

Mar 21 – vs. James Bay AA

Mar 28 – vs. Capilano RFC

Apr 4 – vs. Nanaimo Hornets