National U18 and U20

October 14 2019


BC Talent ID Camp for U18 and U20 Men on This Weekend at Burnaby Lake Rugby Club

from BCRU

Top junior male players from across the province are being invited to an identification camp hosted by Rugby Canada. The BC camp, which will take place at Burnaby Lake on October 18-20, is the fourth and final camp being held in the country with an aim to provide athletes with a performance pathway to National Programs in 2020.

A total of 60 top players born between 2000 & 2002 will be invited to attend the three-day camp. This will be their chance to impress Canada U18 and U20 coaches as they plan their national programs for 2020. The brainchild of Gethin Watts, these camps are intended to be part of a robust and annual Talent ID process that aims to bring in the best players from high schools, regional, provincial and national programs. BC Rugby will also take the opportunity to monitor players for their own provincial programs in 2020.

A comprehensive process for identifying and inviting players to this camp has been in full swing for some months now. A working group comprising of top coaches form club, high school, regional and provincial teams has been meeting regularly to compile a list of the most promising athletes. The working group included

Aaron Takel (Men & Boys’ Rugby Development Manager with BC Rugby, High School Coach & Former staff member with Canada U20 and Senior Men)

Derek Pue (High School Coach, TORA Academy & Canada U20 Performance Analyst)

Adam Roberts (High School Coach, BC Elite Youth Sevens Head Coach, Canada U20 Coach)

Curry Hitchborn (UBC Men’s Head Coach, BC U19 Head Coach, PRC Coach)

Clay Panga (High School Coach, PRC Coach, Canadian Rugby Foundation)

Scott Manning (Castaway Wanderers Head Coach, High School Coach & Canada U18 Coach)

Doug Branchflower (BC U17 Coach, High School Coach & Canada U18 Manager)

Sean White (James Bay Head Coach, BC NextGen Sevens Head Coach, Canada West U18 7’s Coach)

The athletes identified by the working group will be contacted directly by Rugby Canada to formally invite them to the camp and provide more details. While the majority of players are from BC, consideration has also been given to players from outside the province who currently reside in BC for university. Players already on Rugby Canada’s radar, including many in the U20 and Pacific Pride programs, will not be invited to this camp as the focus is on uncovering new talent for national programs.

“This is all about providing our top players with a clear pathway to national programs,” commented Aaron Takel. “We have so many talented young players in this province and we owe it to them to provide clear steps that go from regional to provincial to national teams. This camp will become an established feature in the rugby calendar taking place annually at this time of year, giving a players something to target after a summer of provincial competitions as well as helping our coaching staff to stay engaged with the most promising athletes ahead of the following summer season.”

Speaking about the behind the scenes work, Takel commented “The working group are really enthusiastic and engaged for this to build in to an ongoing process after the camp. This would allow players identified after the camp to still have a chance of being added to the watch list.

The members of the working group have been strategically placed across the province so that they can get out into the community, watch certain players and keep an eye out for new prospects.”

How do I know if I’ve been invited?

Mike Flynn (Canada U20 Manager) will be emailing all invited athletes in the coming days. Contact details were taken from the BC Rugby player registration database. This may mean that your invite was sent to a parents’ email rather than a players so please keep an eye out.

If you have any questions about the camp, please contact Mike Flynn ( or Doug Branchflower ( for more details.

I wasn’t invited this time; how do I make sure I get noticed in the future?

BC Rugby staff and coaches work year-round to spot the most talented young rugby players. Playing for your club or high school is a great start, but the best way to get noticed is to get involved with additional rugby programming over the spring/summer period. This includes playing for your region at the PRCs or as part of a BC Rugby Provincial Rep Team if possible.

Pemberton Holmes
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