Pacific Pride Program Announce 30 Players for 2019-2020 Season
Coach Jamie Cudmore has settled on 30 players to take him through the 2019-2020 season. It's an interesting mix, there are a couple of crossover athletes from football, Ed Ilnicki (running back) and Marc-Antoine Ouellett (defensive lineman). There are the 7s specialists like Brock Webster and David Richard. Some veteran players like Guiseppe du Toit and Ollie Nott.
There's no doubt the backline will have some flyers on the outside Anton Ngongo, Thomas Isherwood, Brennig Prevost, David Richard come to mind. Scrum half will be covered by Crosby Stewart and Brock Gallagher, flyhalf by Will Kelly and Brock Webster. A veteran like Guiseppe du Toit could make another run at flyhalf or be the link at inside centre.
The first question is will the tight five be able to compete physically against other teams in the Premier? We count four locks, three of them with some experience in the BC Premier. There are five props, 3 of them with BC Premier experience and a crossover athlete, a 6'3", 270lb defensive lineman.
The loose forwards look well stocked, the Vikilani's from Burnaby will provide aggression and physicality from Day 1. Ollie Nott is a skilled loose forward with plenty of BC Premier experience and Austin James, another of the James Clan, following his brother's and father's footsteps to national representation.
The Pride kickoff the season with a warmup game vs Nanaimo this weekend, it's not a league match, the Pride's first league match is against CW on September 28th. This weekend's match will give head coach Jamie Cudmore his first look at what he has to work with in a match situation. Nanaimo finished in 2nd last spot last year, ahead of Meraloma, with a 3-12-1 record.
Pacific Pride Roster: (our notes in parenthesis)
D'Shawn Bowen (Kingston, ON) Unattached (wing, Westshore)
Thomas Davidson (Chelsea, QC) Toronto Scottish RFC (lock)
Reid Davis (White Rock, BC) Bayside RFC (lock, JBAA)
Mason Flesch (Cobourg, ON) Cobourg Saxons (lock, JBAA)
Brock Gallagher (Edmonton, AB) Strathcona Druids RFC (#9, Westshore)
Nik Hildebrand (Nanaimo, BC) Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (prop, Burnaby)
Nolan Howell (Richmond, BC) Richmond RFC (lock, UBC)
Ed Ilnicki (Spruce Grove, AB) Unattached (cross over football)
Thomas Isherwood (Skelmanthorpe, England) Foothills Lions RFC (Fullback, Westshore)
Austin James (North Vancouver, BC) Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (#8, Burnaby)
Will Kelly (Ancaster, ON) Brantford Harlequins (#10)
Dewald Kotze (Edmonton, AB) Strathcona Druids RFC (Ravens, hooker)
Morgan MacIntyre (Summerside, PEI) UPEI Panthers (prop)
Mike McCarthy (St. John's, NL) Swilers RFC (JBAA, hooker)
Liam Murray (Langley, BC) James Bay AA (JBAA, prop)
Quinn Ngawati (Victoria, BC) Westshore RFC (Westshore, centre)
Anton Ngongo (Victoria, BC) Castaway Wanderers (CW, wing)
Cody Nhanala (Ottawa, ON) Ottawa Ospreys RFC (7s)
Oliver Nott (Victoria, BC) UVIC Vikes (UVic, flanker)
Marc-Antoine Ouellett (Québec City, QC) Club de Rugby de Québec (cross over football)
Brennig Prevost (Victoria, BC) Castaway Wanderers (CW, wing/fullback)
David Richard (Milton, ON) Mississauga Blues (7s, wing)
Tyler Rowland (Mississauga, ON) Toronto Nomads (UBC, prop)
Alex Russell (Montreal, QC) McGill University (fullback)
Crosby Stewart (Prince Rupert, BC) UVIC Vikes (UVic, #9)
Guiseppe du Toit (Maple Ridge, BC) Toronto Arrows (UVic, #10/centre)
Josh Thiel (Abbotsford, BC) Abbotsford RFC (JBAA, centre)
Siaki Vikilani (Burnaby, BC) Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (Burnaby, flanker)
Taitusi Vikilani (Burnaby, BC) Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (Burnaby, #8)
Brock Webster (Uxbridge, ON) Oshawa Vikings (7s, #10)
The Rugby Canada release below also includes the women's RCDA program which is at the high school level, the program is hosted at Belmont Secondary. One interesting note is that Kiri Ngawati is in the program, sister to Quinn Ngawati of the men's program. from Rugby Canada
LANGFORD, BC (September 4, 2019) – An exciting start to the school year as Rugby Canada’s men’s and women’s development academies– the Pacific Pride and the Rugby Canada Development Academy (RCDA)— both kickoff off their 2019-2020 seasons.
The athletes making up the newly reformed Pacific Pride came together in Langford, BC last week, heading straight into preparations for their first pre-season match. The men’s development academy is made up of mostly uncapped players and looks to build up young talent with the goal of readying players for top-tier international club and national team competition.
The centralized team –lead by esteemed Canadian international Jamie Cudmore—will train out of the Al Charron Training Centre and compete in the BC Premier League, running from September into May. There first match takes place this Saturday, September 7th against the Nanaimo Hornets at 2:30pm PT.
“The team is very excited to kickoff the return of the Pride in our first BC Premiership League match on Saturday,” said Cudmore. “We’ve got a great group of guys here who have hit the ground running. It’s amazing to expose these young athletes to a training environment like this and help them build into internationally competitive players. I think as we move forward, programs like the Pride are critical for Canada’s progression on the international stage.”
Entering into their third year, the young women of the RCDA returned to training at the start of the week with 10 new athletes in tow. Aligned with the national senior women’s program, the academy looks to develop players with aspirations to reach Canada’s Olympic rugby sevens and Rugby World Cup teams in a competitive daily training enviornment, while also attending high school.
The RCDA has already seen such successes with athletes like Olivia DeCouvreur, Carmen Izyk, Ella O’Regan, Maggie MacKinnon, Beth Cudmore, and more getting opportunities with the senior women’s program.
John Tait, Director of the Women’s High Performance program and the head coach of Canada’s National Senior Sevens team said of the RCDA: “We’re heading into our third year with the academy and have started to really pick up steam with the program. We’ve had some great successes already with a few girls working their way into the senior national program and others going on to play at universities all across the country. We’re focused as an organization not only on Tokyo 2020, but also the 2021 Rugby World Cup, and then onto the 2024 Olympics. This program is a major factor for our continued success.”
Beth Cudmore, Victoria BC
Emily Findlay, Regina SK
Emily Stewart, Grand Forks BC
Fancy Bermudez Chavez, Edmonton AB
Julia Armstrong, Abbotsford, BC
Kira Peary, Abbotsford BC
Kiri Ngawati, Victoria BC
Lyla Risdale, Cambridge Ont
Macy Wiebe, Dunan BC
Makayla Jospeh, Calgary AB
Mirina Skakun, Brentwood Bay BC
Sierra Gillis, Victoria BC
Sophia Tafel, Canmore AB