Comox Valley rugby talent helps UBC T-Birds win Wightman Boot

Three Comox Valley rugby players helped the UBC Thunderbirds defeat the UVic Vikings 37-30 and win the school’s third straight Wightman Boot on Jan. 16 in Vancouver.

Foster Dewitt (Courtenay), Callum Passingham (Black Creek) and Nakai Penny (a Valley newcomer from Penticton) were on the T-Birds’ roster when UBC opened the 2016 Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League season in style.

Victoria’s 30 points were the most UBC had conceded all season in a match that featured plenty of high-tempo rugby on a slick Ken Woods Field artificial turf field in Vancouver.

The seven-point margin of victory was also the closest UBC is the reigning Rounsefell Cup champions and are now 9-0 against B.C. competition during the 2015-16 school year.

More high-calibre rugby awaits the local trio as Penny along with G.P. Vanier alumni Passingham, Dewitt and Trevor Caton (Vancouver Rowing Club) are off to the Canada U20 selection camp that goes Jan. 22-30 at Shawnigan Lake School.

From the 39 players at the camp, 26 will be chosen to represent Canada at its World Trophy qualifier against the USA on Feb. 13 in Austin, Texas.

If Canada beats the USA they will earn a trip to Harare, Zimbabwe in April for the 2016 World Rugby U20 Trophy. Plus, for the top players, the Americas Rugby Championship for five weeks in February/March is a possibility.

Canada has competed at six World Rugby Under 20 Trophy tournaments, finishing second in both 2013 (45-23 loss to Italy in Chile) and 2015 (49-24 loss to Georgia in Portugal).

They also have two sixth-place finishes (2010, 2012), one fifth-place finish (2011) and a seventh-place finish (2014) to their credit.

T-Birds Flying High

The reigning B.C. Premier League champion T-Birds wrapped up a perfect (8-0-0) first half of their season on Dec. 5 by winning the Mainland Cup, defeating Burnaby Lake 20-0.

The Thunderbirds also hold the National Rugby News Challenge Cup as the top club team in North America. They have defeated the #1 ranked USA club team, Seattle, twice.

Last September, Dewitt and Penny were with the T-Birds at the inaugural eight-team World University Rugby Cup at Oxford in England, where UBC finished third.


Just Posted

VIDEO: Visual recap of Vancouver Island MusicFest

Walk Off The Earth, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie among highlights

Greenwood Trunk sewer line construction continues

Work on Ryan Road portion of project Monday

Heat warning issued for Vancouver Island

Temperatures expected to cool down later this week

Police presence at Anna Place in Courtenay

Situation resolved peacefully

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

Island wide crime spree leads to multiple charges against Cowichan Valley resident

Social Media and citizens of the North Island played a big role in solving the case.

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

B.C. teen meets Nicolas Cage

Filming mob movie in downtown Vernon, B.C.

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. MLAs choose new children’s watchdog

Jennifer Charlesworth has worked in government, social services

Most Read