Trinity Western head coach Andrew Evans officially announced the roster for the Spartans highly-anticipated game with Saint Mary’s College, who are currently ranked No. 4 in D1A rugby in the U.S., Saturday (1 p.m.) in Moraga, Calif.
The contest will mark the start of the Spartans 2020 schedule, kicking things off against one of the top men’s collegiate rugby programs in the U.S.
Jan. 4 @ Saint Mary’s College – Saint Mary’s Stadium | 1 p.m. (PT) | WATCH
The Spartans forward contingent that will take on the Gaels is largely unchanged from the group that played the Surrey Beavers in an exhibition tilt last fall, with the only change being Mackenzie Nordli (Nanaimo, B.C.) entering the fray in the second row. The trio of Ben Graci (Edmonton), Josh Halladay (White Rock, B.C.) and Scott Bowers (New Westminster, B.C.) return in the front row, while Erik Niebuhr (Surrey, B.C.) is back in the second row with Nordli.
The back row features Daniel Clement (Edmonton) and Nate Schroeder (West Kelowna, B.C.) locking down the flanker roles, while Caleb Gerth (Langley) will captain the side at No. 8.
Similar to the forwards, the Spartans backs will have a similar feel to previous outings, with Jacob Sousa (Langley) running out a scrum half and Ethan Kelt (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) conducting things at flyhalf. Markus Rauch (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Ethan Bernardin (Langley) are once again on the wings, while Sam Wegert (Langley) comes into the 15s setup for the first time as a Spartan, joining mainstay Oliver Feagin (Harbor City, Calif.) in the centre. Khyree Poole (El Cajon, Calif.) rounds out the starting group at fullback.
TWU is 1-1 in 15s action this year, beating UBC Okanagan before losing to the Beavers.
Saint Mary’s has played in five of the last seven D1A National Championship matches, winning the national title in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
This is the Spartans second trip to California this year, as TWU men’s sevens team won the Shield Championship, after going 3-3, at the WestCoast 7s.
- Ben Graci – Edmonton, Alta. | Nor’westers AA
- Scott Bowers – New Westminster, B.C. | Riverside
- Josh Halladay – White Rock, B.C.
- Erik Niebuhr – Surrey, B.C. | Bayside Sharks
- Mackenzie Nordli – Nanaimo, B.C. | Nanaimo
- Daniel Clement – Edmonton, Alta. | Edmonton Clansmen
- Nate Schroeder – West Kelowna, B.C. | Mount Boucherie Secondary
- Caleb Gerth (C) – Langley, B.C. | Brookswood
- Jacob Sousa – Langley, B.C. | R.E. Mountain Secondary
- Ethan Kelt – Port Coquitlam, B.C. | United Rugby Club
- Markus Rauch – Abbotsford, B.C. | Robert Bateman Secondary
- Sam Wegert – Langley, B.C. | R.E. Mountain
- Oliver Feagin – Harbor City, Calif. | Carson
- Ethan Bernardin – Langley, B.C. | R.E. Mountain Secondary
- Khyree Poole – El Cajon, Calif. | OMBAC Rugby
- J.P. O’Gorman – St. Charles, Miss. | Francis Howell Central
- Nick Halladay – White Rock, B.C.
- Nate Lieuwen – Langley, B.C.
- Brian Carlson – Langley, B.C. | D.W. Poppy
- David Wegert – Langley, B.C. | R.E. Mountain
- Ben Adkins – Nairobi Kenya | Rift Valley Academy
- Tim Bamgbade – Surrey, B.C.