A collection of local rugby talent – two coaches and nine players – is in Ireland this week as part a BC Rugby summer tour.
Team BC’s under-18 boys team features Reid Davis, Max Radcliffe and Kyle Tremblay – all recent graduates of Earl Marriott Secondary’s rugby program – while longtime EMS coach Adam Roberts will serve as head coach and Elgin Park Secondary senior boys coach Mike Jamieson is also on board, as an assistant coach.
Team BC’s U18 girls side, meanwhile, boasts six Surrey players: Kate Bagshaw, Hannah Edward, Berlyn Seselja, Shoshanah Seumanutufa, Madison Smith and Valerie Wideski.
Davis – who has experience with Team Canada’s under-18 program – will serve as captain of the boys’ team.
The teams left last Thursday for Ireland, and were set to play a handful of games against some of Ireland’s top rugby programs. The trip coincides with the Women’s Rugby World Cup, and Roberts told Peace Arch News prior to leaving that his squad would also get the chance to attend both a Team Canada practice and a game.
Roberts expects his side will face competition tougher than any they’ve ever seen.
“Anytime you get the opportunity to go on a tour like this, it’s great. It’ll be a good test for the guys,” he said.
“Physically, I think we’ll always be able to stack up against anybody, but it’s rugby knowledge and (experience) where it’ll be interesting to see how we do.”
While both Robers and Jamieson were named months in advance to the coaching staff, the players were only chosen for the team in early July, at the conclusion of BC Rugby’s Provincial Regional Championships.
The team will return home on Aug. 22.