A Look at the Pacific Pride Roster for the 2022-23 BC Premier Season
The Pacific Pride Academy start up another season in the BC Premier, a few of the players (Reimer, Purdey, Flesch, ??) may only be here in the fall as they’ll likely go to MLR training camps in the spring.
Most positions have a young U18/U19 player coming in behind “veteran” players, a situation you like to see in an Academy environment. It’s a fine balance between remaining competitive in the BC Premier and preparing players for the U20 team.
Some areas I’ll be keen to observe this season:
– how will the front row hold up in the scrums against older opponents, this year with the import rule removed in the BC Premier, there may be some props with high level experience showing up in rosters.
– second row, one of the most sought after positions at the national level, will anyone standout? Callum Botchar looked good at #8 this summer, will he be used as second row or #8 this season?
– the loose forwards are a strong group, how much will they improve this season and will any get called up to the senior squad in the autumn tests?
– At #9 Zech Pilgrim did well at CW, looking forward to seeing how he performs with the Pride
– at #10 Max Stewart improved a lot from the beginning of the 2021-22 BC Premier to the summer of ’22. Looking forward to seeing his progression in key areas of decision making, consistency and precision – he already has the natural flair and creativity.
– in the centres Noah Flesch is making the move from loose forward to centre this season. Lots of interest around that. Sion Griffiths another one to watch. Should be good competition for spots here.
– on the wing, a lot of new faces, interesting to see if anyone stands out
– at the back only one returning player, Oliver Mackenzie, some new faces here as well.
The first test is a good one, against UBC, the defending BC Premier champion and Canadian University champion – September 10th at Westshore, looking forward to it.
2022 Fall Roster
Props – 4 returning props and 2 young props coming in
Willem den Ouden – usually plays loosehead, returning for another year at the Pride
Liam Bolton – a tighthead from the Edmonton Gold U18 team
Sam Miller – was listed on the Canada East U20 roster, started 2nd row
Kyle Steeves – returning tighthead, paired with den Ouden as the starting props for Canada West Selects
Tyler Matchem – returning tighthead, played Canada U20 this summer
Aaron Clark – returning loosehead prop
Hooker – 2 hookers who played BC Premier last season and 1 U18 player coming in
Austin Creighton – played for JBAA last season, played for Canada West vs American Raptors
Dan Cooper – started as tighthead for Pride last season, was moved to hooker early on
Sione Fine – BC U18 team this summer, from Williams Lake
2nd row – 3 returning players from last season, 1 from pre-COVID Pride, 1 U19 player
Reid Davis – returning from 2019 Pride, played club at Bayside, played Canada West this summer
Jaiden John – U19 player from Mississauga Blues
Conor Turner – returning lock
Alastair Bruce – returning lock, played Canada U20 this summer
Callum Botchar – returning lock/#8, played Canada West this summer
Backrow – 3 returning from last season, 1 7s player
Matt Klimchuk – returning #8, played Canada U20 this summer
Cody Nahnala – returning openside, played Canada West this summer
Zephry Melnyk – returning blindside, played Canada West this summer
Elias Hancock – 7s player, named to 13 man squad for Commonwealth Games this summer
9s – 1 returning player, 1 BC Premier player and 1 U18
Sam Reimer – returning scrum-half, was called up to Toronto Arrows May 2022, played for Nanaimo in 2020
Zech Pilgrim – CW #9 last season, from Red Deer Titans
Jesse Kilgour – U18 player from Barrie
10s – 2 returning players
Max Stewart – returning #10, played Canada West this summer
Justin Taylor – returning #10
Centres – 2 returning players, 1 loose forward transition, 1 7s player, 1 MLR draftee
Seth Purdey – recently drafted by Atlanta of the MLR, like some other MLR linked players, likely only here for the fall
Ciaren Breen – 7s player, currently with Canada at 7s World Cup
Taylor Desouza – returning centre, played Marlins 7s in the summer
Sion Griffiths – returning centre, played Marlins 7s in the summer
Noah Flesch – big news seeing him transition from loose forward to centre, Toronto Arrows player
Wing – mostly a new crew
Lucas Scheck – Canada U20 player, played for Pride during 2021 Coastal Cup
AJ Kosempel – from Wilfred Laurier University
JC Vinette – from Concordia University
Ben Russell – from McGill University
15 – 1 returning player, 1 Canada U20, 1 U18
Oliver Mackenzie – returning fullback, played Canada West this summer
Jack East – played Canada U20 this summer, originally from NZ
Allen Berros – from Quebec, played for their U18 program