Nate Stams from Langley Fundamental keeps an eye on Earl Marriott’s Kulsher Randhawa during the Grade 8/9 Fraser Valley finals last November.

Nate Stams from Langley Fundamental keeps an eye on Earl Marriott’s Kulsher Randhawa during the Grade 8/9 Fraser Valley finals last November.

Earl Marriott Mariners to host international rugby, soccer squads

Visiting teams from Australia, England and California are stopping by the South Surrey school this month.

Earl Marriott Secondary has been a busy landing spot for visiting international athletic teams this month – and more barnstorming squads are on the way next week.

Tuesday afternoon, immediately following a senior boys rugby game against Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat Redhawks, Marriott hosted a team from Truro College in England. The South Surrey side was comprised of players from all South Surrey schools, and suited up under Bayside Sharks’ colours.

Visitors to the South Surrey school continue this Tuesday, when the Mariners senior boys soccer team hosts Epping, an Australian team, and on Wednesday, April 12, EMS will host under-14 and under-15 soccer teams from Kenilworth, England.

Epping is also bringing its senior boys rugby team, which will play the Mariners’ senior boys team. The senior team will also host Motherlode RFC from California, while the the school’s senior girls soccer team will play a friendly against Australia’s Oakhill High School, as well.

In total, more than 250 visiting athletes will have toured through Earl Marriott in a two-week span, Adam Roberts, Marriott’s senior boys rugby coach, told Peace Arch News.

“There’s definitely a lot going on,” said Chris Fraser, coach of the EMS Grade 8/9 team.

The U14 team will square off against a team of Grade 8 boys, while the U15 squad will play a Marriott group comprised of both Grade 8 and 9 players.

The high-school boys soccer season was played in the fall, with the Mariners’ Grade 8/9 team winning a Fraser Valley banner. But despite the layoff between games, head coach Chris Fraser said young players were looking forward to next week’s opportunity.

“They’re excited, and I think it’ll be a great experience for them,” he said. “And a lot of them are still playing club soccer, so they should be OK.”

Fraser didn’t know much about the incoming Brits, but expected the games to pose a steep challenge.

“They take their soccer pretty seriously over there (in England), so it’ll be good for the boys to see how they match up against a team that’s coming from a country that’s usually ranked in the top 10 (in international soccer).”

Last November, EMS defeated Langley Fundamental School 1-0 to win the Fraser Valley championship.