TWU Spartans Host #13 Central Washington University on Friday Evening at 6pm
This match should give a better idea of where the TWU program is in terms of playing level. They started off the season getting hammered by the #4 USA ranked college St. Mary's, that match was on the road. They recovered and have won three straight matches against unranked opponents, University of Washington, University of Oregon and Western Washington University. They again go up against a ranked program so the result will be interesting. CWU is lower ranked than St. Mary's and this time TWU are at home.
The match will be live streamed on the Spartans facebook page. For those attending the event, it's free entry and coach Andrew Evans says there'll even be hot chocolate to keep the fans warm.
Best wishes to the Spartans as they look to establish themselves as another solid university rugby program in BC. from TWU Spartans - Mark Janzen
LANGLEY, B.C. – Trinity Western University’s men’s rugby team will host a D1A school for the first time in program history, as the Spartans welcome No. 13-ranked Central Washington University to the Langley Events Centre (Northwest Field) Friday at 6 p.m.
Feb. 14 vs. Central Washington University – Langley Events Centre | Northwest Field | 6 p.m. (PT)
The Spartans have won three games in a row, including wins over the University of Washington (36-31), the University of Oregon (41-19) and Western Washington University (24-0), but this Friday will mark TWU’s toughest test since taking on No. 4-ranked Saint Mary’s in early January.
Central Washington is a perennial power in D1A rugby in the United States, regularly featuring in the Top 15 across the country. The Wildcats are riding a three-game winning streak, including most recently earning a 110-3 victory over Gonzaga University. CWU’s early-season success has also seen the Wildcats beat Western Washington 66-3 and No. 14-ranked Arizona 32-28.
Friday’s contest is the first of a home-and-home series between the cross-border foes. TWU will travel to Ellensburg, Wash. for the rematch Mar. 28.
The Spartans will roll out Ben Graci (Edmonton) at loosehead prop and Scott Bowers (New Westminster, B.C.) at hooker, with Josh Halladay (White Rock, B.C.) getting the start at tighthead prop.
Mackenzie Nordli (Nanaimo, B.C.) moves from tighthead, where he has played throughout the season, to the second row, joining regular lock Nick Halladay (White Rock, B.C.).
Erik Niebuhr (Surrey, B.C.) will take over the captaincy and No. 8 role, with James Aalhus (Langley) getting his first start at blindside flanker opposite regular starting flanker Daniel Clement (Edmonton).
The backs will have a familiar look to Spartan fans, with Ethan Kelt (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) at scrumhalf and Keegan Marengo (Edenvale, South Africa) at flyhalf.
Markus Rauch (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Ethan Bernardin (Langley), who is back after missing TWU’s game against Western Washington, will patrol the wings, with Sam Wegert (Langley) and Nate Schroeder (West Kelowna, B.C.) once again at inside and outside centre. As has been the case throughout the year, Khyree Poole (El Cajon, Calif.) slots in at fullback.
The Spartans will be celebrating Black History Month throughout the evening. Go to www.gospartans.ca. to see a video featuring several TWU students and student-athletes, as they reflect on what Black History Month means to them.
1. Ben Graci – Edmonton, Alta. | Nor’westers AA
2. Scott Bowers – New Westminster, B.C. | Riverside
3. Josh Halladay – White Rock, B.C.
4. Nick Halladay – White Rock, B.C.
5. Mackenzie Nordli – Nanaimo, B.C. | Nanaimo
6. James Aalhus – Langley, B.C. | Langley Rugby Club
7. Daniel Clement – Edmonton, Alta. | Edmonton Clansmen
8. Erik Niebuhr (C) – Surrey, B.C. | Bayside Sharks
9. Ethan Kelt – Port Coquitlam, B.C. | United Rugby Club
10. Keegan Marengo – Edenvale, South Africa | Golden Lions
11. Markus Rauch – Abbotsford, B.C. | Robert Bateman Secondary
12. Sam Wegert – Langley, B.C. | R.E. Mountain
13. Nate Schroeder – West Kelowna, B.C. | Mount Boucherie Secondary
14. Ethan Bernardin – Langley, B.C. | R.E. Mountain Secondary
15. Khyree Poole – El Cajon, Calif. | OMBAC Rugby
16. JP O’Gorman – St. Charles, Miss. | Francis Howell Central
17. Nate Lieuwen – Langley, B.C.
18. Jordan Kirk – Surrey, B.C. | Pacific Academy
19. Brian Carlson – Langley, B.C. | D.W. Poppy
20. Ben Adkins – Nairobi, Kenya | Rift Valley Academy
21. Jacob Sousa – Langley, B.C. | R.E. Mountain Secondary
22. Tim Bamgbade – Surrey, B.C.
23. Garrett Shepherd – El Dorado Hills, Calif. | Lindenwood University
About Spartan Athletics
As official members of U SPORTS, the Spartans currently compete in 11 sports in the Canada West conference, including women’s and men’s soccer, volleyball, basketball, cross country and track & field, as well as women’s rugby sevens. TWU also competes in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) in men’s hockey and as an independent team in men’s rugby. The men’s and women’s hockey programs will begin playing in Canada West and U SPORTS in 2020-21. Since TWU entered U SPORTS in 1999, the Spartans have won 12 U SPORTS team championships and 27 Canada West team championships and two BCIHL championships.