The Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship Kicks Off Wednesday: Live Streamed on The Rugby Network
The CUMRC, the Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship, kicks off Wednesday. All matches will be streamed by the www.therugbynetwork.com
Bryan Kelly, the former Rugby Canada media person, who is involved with the Rugby Network wrote a preview, appended below, with the schedule and 5 players to watch.
The four previous tournaments, 1 in BC, 2 in Ontario, 1 in Quebec were won by UBC (3x) and UVic (1x). It has often been a UBC v UVic final and this year may be the same as they’re on opposite sides of the draw. UVic has a tough first round draw against the 3rd BC team, TWU, who have been competitive in the Coastal Cup competition.
As for players to watch, we’re only familiar with the BC players, but besides the ones mentioned by Bryan in his article below, these are players to watch on the BC teams.
1. Izzak Kelly – the large second row for UBC, played behind the Carsons last year but is starting to come into his own. A strong ball runner who will draw in and bosh a few defenders also adds some power to the UBC engine room in the scrums.
2. Tamilore Awonusi – the player most likely to score in each match. The tall winger was picked up by the Irish 7s team and got some time playing on the World Series. He’s definitely the TWU danger man.
3. Gabe Casey – picked up by the Arrows in the MLR, he’s improved a lot over the last year. He plays well at #10 or any of the backline positions, he’s versatile, smart and physical.
from the Rugby Network – Bryan Kelly
Will anyone be able to stop the UBC Thunderbirds?
This week the best Canadian Rugby University athletes are set to take over UBCs Point Grey campus just outside downtown Vancouver for the fifth annual Canadian University Mens Rugby Championship (CUMRC).
Having been in brilliant form over the last decade, the home side has won three of the last four tournament titles and enter the event as clear favourites.
Canadas National Mens Team and Major League Rugby will be keeping an eye on this competition, as its a direct feeder to professional and test match rugby.
This years competition will include the University of Victoria and UBC Thunderbirds from British Columbia, the University of Calgary representing the Prairies, the University of Guelph and Wilfird Laurier from Ontario, McGill University from Quebec, Memorial University from the Atlantic region and the wild card entry, Trinity Western University.
Here are five players to watch out for when the tournament kicks off on Wednesday.
Takoda McMullin UBC Thunderbirds
The only thing worse for an opposition lining up against one rising Rugby Canada star is learning that he has a twin. Takoda McMullin and twin Talon, both from Earl Marriott High School in Surrey in greater Vancouver, have rose up the British Columbia ranks in recent years with their fine form, physical presence, and incredible skills.
Both brothers have worn the Maple Leaf on recent occasions, including travelling to Sao Paolo, Brazil with Canada A last month with a win against Brazil and a loss to Chile in the Americas Rugby Trophy. Further, both featured for Canadas Under-20 Mens Team in last years 2022 Canada Conference with losses against Zimbabwe and Uruguay and a victory over Chile at the University of Guelph. The pair also represented Canadas Under-18 Team against USA U-18 squad in Chula Vista, California.
The 60, 205lb centre will be an imposing force for the UBC Thunderbirds, who are looking to win their second straight CUMRC title in front of their home fans.
Kobe Faust Guelph Gryphons
To put it simply, Kobe Faust is electric.
The 20-year-old marketing management major from Uxbridge, Ontario was named OUA Athlete of the week three times throughout the 2022-23 University season. Comfortable at fullback or outside centre, Faust has incredibly featured in the last three Major League Rugby season with the Toronto Arrows. Arrow #63 is a graduate of the Ontario Blues junior mens provincial program and represented Canada at the World Rugby Under-20 Canada Conference 2022 tournament, starting all three matches. He previously featured for Canada at the under-18 level as an under-ager in 2019 and made four appearances (one start) for the Arrows since debuting in 2021.
Ethan Hager UVIC Vikes
Selected 8th overall in this years Major League Rugby draft by the Dallas Jackals, Ethan Hager is one of the few players in this years CUMRC with one foot already firmly in professional rugby after concluding his studies.
The fifth-year social sciences major from Brantford, Ontario helped the UVIC Vikes knock off perennial favourites UBC 21-20 to win the 2019 edition of CUMRC in shocking fashion. The 7s and XVs standout from the Brantford Harlequins will need to be in fine form if his team have a chance at knocking off the defending champions and hosts from across the Juan de Fuca straight.
Alexandre Laurendeau McGill
Remember the name Alexandre Laurendeau!
The 2022 RSEQ Rookie of the Year has been in brilliant form this year for McGill, helping his side knock off the Ottawa GeeGees 31-24 to capture their first RSEQ Championship since 2015 in front of a record crowd of 1,830 at Percival Molson Stadium last month.
And, even more incredible to mention, the 61, 215lb winger from Ormstown, Quebec had never played organized rugby before 2022. The 21-year-old industrial relations freshman scored four tries in five regular season games and added a pair of tallies, including the game-winner, in the championship final.
Jacob Bossi UBC Thunderbirds
Another former member of Canadas Mens Under-20 Team, hooker Jacob Bossi helped the Thunderbirds win the National Championship title last year with a 39-7 hammering of their Vancouver Island rivals, the UVIC Vikes in Kingston, Ontario.
Standing 511 and weighing 245lb, the Victoria, British Columbia product from Brentwood College will anchor the T-Birds scrum in what could be wet, slippery conditions.
Broadcast Schedule (All times listed Pacific Standard Time):
Wednesday, November 30th
11:00 Quarter Final 1 – UVIC vs Trinity Western
14:00 Quarter Final 2 – Guelph vs Memorial
17:00 Quarter Final 3- UBC vs Calgary
19:30 Quarter Final 4 – Laurier vs McGill
Friday, December 2nd
11:00 Consolation Semi Final 1
14:00 Consolation Semi Final 2
17:00 Championship Semi Final 1
19:30 Championship Semi Final 2
Sunday, December 4th
9:00 Consolation Final (7&8)
11:00 Consolation Final (5&6)
13:00 Bronze Medal Game
15:30 Gold Medal Game
To watch all the matches free, live, and on demand, please visit www.therugbynetwork.com and join free today.
About the Canadian University Mens Rugby Championship:
Founded in 2017, the Canadian University Mens Rugby Championship was created to not only fill the gap in terms of a national championship with representation from all parts of Canada, but also has a goal the growth of mens rugby at the university level in both student-athlete numbers, number of teams, and audience interest and engagement, and deepening the talent pool for Canadas senior national team.