Seattle Seawolves vs Vancouver Island Crimson Tide

February 05 2018


Seattle Seawolves - Major League Rugby
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Seattle Seawolves vs Vancouver Island Crimson Tide on Sunday 7pm at Westhills Stadium


Rugby fans have been asking for something new to energize the Canadian rugby scene, the failure of the men's team this past weekend in Uruguay has been the hot topic. Here is a peek at what will be coming to Canada in 2019, professional North American rugby. The Seattle Seawolves boasting a large Canadian contingent in their coaching and player pool will be playing in the 2018 inaugural MLR (Major League Rugby) season starting in April. In 2019 there will be a Vancouver based team and in 2020, perhaps an Island based team? One can only hope. Change is needed and this is something tangible, a chance for Canadian players to train full time and get paid.

This will be the Seattle Seawolves first exhibition match, perhaps the only MLR action in Canada this season. The Seawolves plan two more exhibition matches but they haven't been announced yet.

The game will be played Sunday under the lights at Westhills Stadium at 7pm, it's a holiday weekend so what better way to enjoy the Family Day weekend.

Adults are $10, Students $5 and children Under 14 are free.

The coaching staff for the Crimson Tide is a collaborative effort. Roger Robinson from CW is head coach, Sean White from James Bay the assistant coach, Aaron Frisby the BC 7s coach is the backs/skills coach, Clay Panga from Westshore the forwards player/coach and Gary Dukelow of Cowichan the scrum coach.

We caught up with Sean White on what the game means to him, "I couldn't be happier for the Seawolves to be coming to the Island. This game will not only serve as a line in the sand for the standard we wish to play consistently at the Premier level, but it will show those Island players hoping to play at that next level what is needed to get there. With the connection The Seawolves coaches, Tony Healy and Phil Mack, have to Island Rugby at various levels, its great to see their continued support of rugby here on the Island. I also know the Seawolves are looking to develop a "Pacific West Coast" style of play, and I am excited to see how it all plays out on the field. Lastly, the Crimson Tide is a proud program that goes back many years and has produced some of the best Canadian rugby talents this country has seen. Anytime we are able to get a Tide team together and play in the jerseys of those Canadian rugby legends is a great day for rugby on the Island. Thank you to the Seawolves organization, and here's to a great game and building a great rugby relationship."

When we asked about the transition from player to coach, he had this to say, "As for my coaching career, I am just beginning my journey. At this moment I am looking to soak in as much knowledge and utilize as many resources as possible. Ironically to date, Tony and Phil have been the main resources I've been in contact with since I've stopped playing. Coaching has brought a new passion to rugby for me, and filled the void I felt like I was missing since leaving the Sevens set-up. I'm looking forward to this new pathway of mine while helping develop great rugby players who are stand up members of their communities as well."

Island representative rugby goes back to the 19th century, the photo below shows the Victoria rep team from 1899. It's a proud tradition that will be continued on Sunday.



The Vancouver Island team will practice at 6:30pm at Westshore, player response has been good and reportedly 48 names have been put forward. The selections won't be known until the Canada team is announced for this weekend's Canada v USA match as many Island based players will be making the trip to San Diego which will put them out of contention for the Sunday match.

If you want more information or want to put your name forward for selection, contact John Lyall at johnlyall4@gmail.com

We asked a couple of rugby insiders to give us their depth chart of Island players, this is what we got back. These aren't official, feel free to comment and give your suggestions in the comment section, it's possible likely someone was overlooked. Players need more high level matches and this gives Island players a chance to test their game and for selectors to see them in pressure situations.

Depth Chart (4 deep)

SELECTOR A

Loose Head
1 John Braddock
2 Tobias Berg
3 Blake Van Heyningen
4 Noah Dobson

Hooker
1 Clayton Thornber
2 Noah Barker
3 Nanyak Dala
3 Casey Reed

Tight Head
1 Doug Wooldridge
2 Cole Keith
3 Ryan Kotlewski
4 Cody McClary

Locks
1 Liam Chisholm
2 Connor Keys
3 Graham Harriman
4 Mike Finnemore
5 Shea Wakefield
6 Joe Blain
7 Aiden McClary
8 Mallory Roe

Blindside Flanker
1 Lucas Rumball
2 Foster De Witt
3 Luke Campbell
4 Kevin Leask

Openside Flanker
1 James O’Neil
2 Moe Abdelmonem
3 Kieran McAuley
4 Kyle White

Number 8
1 Dustin Dobravsky
2 Tua Vaa
3 Travis Larsen
4 Clay Panga

Scrum Half
1 Sam Fowler
2 Brandon Schellenberger
3 Jenner Teufel
4 Mark Discombe

Fly Half
1 Robbie Povey
2 Gradyn Bowd
3 Brad Marshall
4 Tyrone Gershe

Inside Centre
1 Doug Fraser
2 Guiseppe Du Toit
3 Logan Martin-Feek
4 Dave Evans

Outside Centre
1 Michael Nieuwenhuysen
2 Jared Stephens
3 Taylor McGuire
4 Ethan Hager

Wings
1 Sitiveni Nacoko
2 Anton Ngongo
3 Jon Morris
4 Connor Pullin
5 Ryan Bradley
6 Justin Logan
7 Brett Johnson
8 Ed Adams

Fullbacks
1 Elliot Mitrou
2 Jordan Tait
3 Aaron Hersant
4 Mike Abide

SELECTOR B

Loosehead
1 Blake van Heyningen
2 John Braddock
3 Doug Woolridge
4 Tobias Berg

Hooker
1 Nanyak Dala
2 Clayton Thornber
3 Casey Reed / Steven Ng
4 Aurelien Muller

Tighthead
1 Cody McClary
2 Ryan Kotlewski
3 Noah Barker
4 MacBryan Bos / Patrick Milford

Lock
1 Conor Keys
2 Liam Chisolm
3 Shea Wakefield
4 Jim de Goede
5 Graham Harriman
6 Kiko Halaliku
7 Jason Gagnier
8 Joe Blain

Blindside
1 Kevin Leask
2 Foster Dewitt
3 Mohamed Abdelmonem
4 Kieran McAuley

Openside
1 Luke Campbell
2 James O’Neill
3 Peyton Eagar
4 Nathan Stewart

#8
1 Travis Larsen
2 Dustin Dobravsky
3 Clay Panga
4 Ollie Nott

#9
1 Brock Gallagher
2 Sam Fowler
3 Brandon Schellenberger
4 Riley Di Nardo / Jenner Teufel

#10
1 Rob Povey
2 Gradyn Bowd
3 Elliot Mitrou
4 Brad Marshall

#12
1 Mike Nieuwenhaysen
2 Guiseppe du Toit
3 Connor Pullin
4 Logan Martin-Feek

#13
1 Jared Stephens
2 Doug Fraser
3 Taylor McGuire
4 Ethan Hager

Wings
1 Sitiveni Nacoko
2 Anton Ngongo
3 Ethan Hager
4 Mitch Sora
5 Brett Johnson
6 Justin Logan
7 Harrison King
8 Taylor de Souza

#15
1 Jordan Tait
2 Mike Adibe
3 Aaron Hersant
4 Mitch Newman


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