Phil Mack - Canada XVs August 2015
|© Mark Ward
Tony Healy and Phil Mack Named as Bears Coaching Staff: Fixture vs Canada on May 27, Wolfpack July 16, CRC August 13
posted March 27 2017
[ed. comments below]
BC are hoping to breath some life into their performance at the summer domestic competition known as the CRC, Canadian Rugby Championship. The CRC is the latest iteration of a national championship played during the summer months, taking over from the RCSL and NA4 in 2009. BC won the competition in 2009 but have had disappointing results in subsequent years. Part of the problem is getting BC players excited about a XVs competition outside of BC's rugby season (Sept to May).
The BCRU have named a new coaching team that hopes to rectify that issue. Tony Healy and Phil Mack have been named as coaches and their first job is to build some excitement around the BC Bears program. Both are James Bay members which is significant as it's one club that has not been very active in CRC support over the years. If they can motivate players from their own club they may be able to build on that momentum in the BC rugby community.
A big part of the program's success is recruiting. The Wolf Pack have done a good job in that regard in the past taking players like Clay Panga and Evan Olmstead who could have played for BC. Will players like Theo Sauder and Andrew Coe from UBC be involved? Will players like Travis and Josh Larsen who have Nanaimo connections play for BC or will they show up elsewhere? Will Connor Braid be back from the UK to participate? Recruiting is where the competition is won before anyone even hits the practice field.
The coaches are well on their way to phase one which is build some excitement for the program. Phase two will be to get key players to commit.
Vancouver, BC – March 27, 2017: BC Rugby is pleased to announce the appointment of Tony Healy as the Head Coach of the BC Rugby Senior Men's XVs team, better known as the BC Bears. Joining him will be Phil Mack who has been appointed the Assistant Coach.
Healy has played rugby professionally for eight years in Europe, playing for teams in France and England. He has also represented Canada’s National team fifteen times between 1996 and 1999. In 2007 and 2009, Healy coached the Canadian U20 Men’s team and has also led the Brentwood College School rugby program, leading them to three provincial championship titles in five years.
Tony Healy shares, “Coaching the BC Bears is a great honor for me; I feel a sense of responsibility in accepting this role, especially when I consider the numerous world-class legends of the game who have represented this team. I am excited to be given this opportunity to make my contribution to the BC Rugby tradition by working with clubs, coaches, and players from across the province to produce a fun, modern, exciting, attacking style of play that will challenge and bring out the best in our players.”
Coaching alongside Healy will be rugby legend, Phil Mack, who will be returning to the BC Bears however this time as the Assistant Coach. Mack has gone through the BC Rugby pathway playing for UVic Vikes, Thunder Rugby, BC Bears and James Bay AA. He made his debut for Canada in 2009, competing in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, two Pan American Games and the World Rugby Sevens circuit. Mack is also currently the Head Coach of the Thunder Rugby team and has been working to grow the game within the Aboriginal communities in BC.
Assistant Coach Phil Mack expresses his enthusiasm for his appointment, "I am extremely honoured and humbled to assume a position on the BC Bears coaching staff for the 2017 season. Having gone through the BC provincial pathway, we understand the significance of having a strong BC Bears team. We plan to engage with all clubs province wide to ensure we can put British Columbia’s best foot forward. Our aim is to play an expansive, fearless style of rugby. Really looking forward to the challenge."
The BC Bears’ 2017 campaign will kick off on May 27 with a game against Rugby Canada Maple Leafs. In July they will face the Prairie Wolf Pack at UBC and in August they will compete in a three-game series at the Canadian Rugby Championships (CRC) in Calgary.
BC Bears Competition Schedule
May 27 – BC Bears v Rugby Canada Maple Leafs (Venue to be confirmed)
July 16 – BC Bears v Wolf Pack (UBC)
August 13-20 Canadian Rugby Championships three-game series (Calgary, AB)