Trinity Western University’s men’s rugby program officially announced the first five recruits for the 2019-20 season, which will see the return of rugby to Spartan Athletics this fall.
Director of Rugby Andrew Evans announced commitments from South African flyhalf Keegan Marengo (Edenvale, Gauteng) along with an impressive Canadian quartet, including Daniel Clement (Edmonton), Kelton Dawe (Truro, N.S.), Caleb Gerth (Langley) and Sam Wegert (Langley).
“These first five are a pleasure for me to announce because they set the values and character of our team,” Evans said. “They will also set the tone for the type of rugby we’re aiming to play at TWU, which will be dynamic and expansive rugby with tough defence and fast line speed. All five of these players represent those qualities.”
Daniel Clement – Flanker – Edmonton
Clement comes to TWU with a strong pedigree as a flanker from the Edmonton Clansmen Rugby Club. The 6-foot-2 Clement, who will graduate from Edmonton Christian High School this spring, has represented Canada’s U18 program twice, travelling to Hong Kong in the spring of 2018 and then again with the team this past December with a tour in California. In 2018, he also helped Alberta to a bronze medal at the Under-18 Canadian 7s Championship.
“Daniel is an extremely athletic and tough player,” Evans said. “He has international potential and he’s going to add a lot of dynamic ability around our defence and our attack and we can’t wait to see him in a Spartans uniform.”
Kelton Dawe – Flanker – Truro, Nova Scotia
Dawe joins the Spartans after spending this past two seasons playing with the Castaway Wanderers Rugby Club in Victoria. Hailing from Truro, N.S., and graduating from Cobequid Educational Center, Dawe comes to TWU having already spent a 20-week stint in New Zealand, getting the chance to train with the Inside Running Academy. Dawe, who played with Truro Saints RFC before moving to the West Coast, was also a member of the Atlantic Rock U19 side in 2017.
“I pursued Kelton right away to be a defensive leader for our team,” Evans said. “His work rate is evident and the references for Kelton are always outstanding, whether it’s from New Zealand or Nova Scotia. He’s tough as nails and will be a physical force.”
Caleb Gerth – Flanker – Langley, B.C.
Gerth transfers to TWU after spending last year at the University of Victoria. The 6-foot-1 flanker, who played club rugby with the Surrey Beavers and graduated from Brookswood Secondary in 2018, has an extensive age-grade resume, having played provincially at the U15, U16 and U17 levels. He also played within Rugby Canada’s U18 program, representing his country in 2017 at the Under-18 North America 4 Series in Arizona. Gerth is the brother of Spencer Gerth, who plays on TWU’s men’s hockey team.
“Caleb is a local player who has been impressive at the age-grade levels,” Evans said. “His intensity is going to shine through on the rugby pitch for us, both on attack and defensively.”
Keegan Marengo – Flyhalf – Edenvale, South Africa
Marengo joins the Spartans from South Africa, where he played amongst the highest age-grade levels in the country, competing in the prestigious U19 Currie Cup in 2017 with the Johannesburg-based Golden Lions. The 5-foot-10 Marengo graduated from St Benedict’s College in 2016. Coming from the rugby-playing hotbed that is South Africa, Marengo comes to TWU as the rugby program’s first international player.
“Keegan is an extremely and talented offensive player,” Evans said. “He can kick for point from pretty much anywhere inside the half and his vision and decision-making is what’s needed in North American rugby. He’s going to make every player around him better and will set up and very entertaining and dynamic attack.”
Sam Wegert – Inside Centre – Langley, B.C.
Wegert will return a little closer to home this fall to continue his rugby career, as the 6-foot-3 inside centre who graduated from Langley’s R.E. Mountain Secondary in 2017, will transfer to TWU after using one year of eligibility at UBC. In his Grade 12 year, Wegert, who played for the Langley Rugby Club, was named to the B.C. high school all-star team as the second-ranked fullback in the province.
“Sam is a very big and dynamic centre,” Evans said. “He makes it very challenging for the defence to stop him on his runs and has an ability to find other players around him in space and will be a huge difference-maker for us.”