Fresh off their victory at the Western Championship in Kelowna, the BC U18 Women are ready to take on the world, or at least some international competition.
The USA National U18 Women’s team will be coming to B.C. for a two-game series at Brentwood College School on Aug. 21 and 23.
There are seven G.P. Vanier Towhees on the B.C. team. In the forwards are Adel Arndt (lock/prop), Chloe Baird-Titcombe (flanker) and Taya Gagnon (hooker). In the backs are Lauren Sargent (scrum half), Dawson German (fly half), Maddie Gold (centre) and Olivia Kellinghusen (wing/fullback).
“B.C. has such a tremendous reputation as a stronghold in the Rugby Canada landscape, particularly with its women’s programs,” said Tam Breckenridge, on behalf of the USA coaching staff.
“We know coming in that the B.C. team will be well-coached and very rugby savvy. These games will provide a good opportunity to measure where we are in terms of program development.
“In addition, being able to travel to Vancouver Island for these two games will allow the players an opportunity to train alongside the U-20 team and attend its first match against Canada. Hopefully this will serve to inspire them both for the short term as they prepare for the games with B.C. as well as for the long-term, as they develop into our national team of the future.”
While B.C. were resilient in their come-from-behind series win over the Prairie Wolf Pack earlier this month, the matches against the USA are expected to be their toughest challenge yet.
“Our team framework is already in place,” said B.C. coach Marius Felix, “and we will have the opportunity to train three times prior to our first game against the USA on Friday, Aug. 21.
“I expect a highly athletic and motivated American squad, and see this as a massive challenge and opportunity for the B.C. players. This will not be an easy task, but one the players and coaching staff are really looking forward to. I anticipate there will be several players from both squads who may one day play for their respective national senior teams.”
These games will also provide Rugby Canada with the opportunity to see the B.C. players in action with an eye on Canada’s plans to name a U18 National team in the near future, as well as see what the future of USA rugby may look like.
This is the first tour for the USA National Women’s team at the U18 age-grade level. The USA roster will be drawn from across the country, including the rugby hotbeds of California, Washington, Utah and New York.
“There will be a mix of athleticism and physicality, some experience mixed in with a lot of youth and excitement,” said Breckenridge. “The players have demonstrated an ability to adapt to the patterns of play stressed by the coaching staff, which we hope will carry across in these first real competitive opportunities.”
The Aug. 21 game goes at 4 p.m. and the Aug. 23 game starts at 9 a.m. Brentwood College School is at 2735 Mount Baker Road in the Cowichan Valley.
LINE OUTS USA Rugby recently approached BC Rugby and the BC U18 coaching staff to set up this two-game series, which will be the first tour for the newly formed USA U18 women’s program … the BC U18 women are coming off a two-game series win over the Prairie Wolf Pack (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba U18 Women) on Aug. 2 in Kelowna …
– BC Rugby