Cowichan rugby products set to face U.S. team

Exhibition: Squads will face off at Brentwood College on Aug. 21 and 23

Cowichan Valley rugby fans will have the opportunity later this month to watch some homegrown talent in action with Team BC as the provincial U18 women’s team plays a pair of matches against the newly formed U.S. U18 women at Brentwood College School.

Fresh off a win over the Prairie Wolf Pack — an all-star team of players from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba — at the Western Canadian Championships in Kelowna earlier this month, the B.C. women will be anxious to prove themselves against the nascent American side in the games on Aug. 21 and 23.

“Our team framework is already in place,” Team BC head coach Marius Felix said. “And we will have the opportunity to train three times prior to our first game against the U.S. 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.”

Felix, who also coaches Brentwood’s senior girls XV, will be assisted by his fellow Brentwood coaches Steve Cowie and Dave Grisdale. The roster, announced Wednesday, will include Brentwood players Delaney Martin, Brooklyn Navarette, Avi Sharabi, McKenna Haz, Denise Roy and Ciel Arbour-Boehme. As well as Cowichan Secondary’s Hannah Morten, Mariah Fontana and Emily Lindsay.

The U.S. coaches are eager to test their team against players of the calibre produced in B.C.

“B.C. has such a tremendous reputation as a stronghold in the Rugby Canada landscape, particularly with its women’s programs,” U.S. coach Tam Breckenridge said. “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.

The first game between B.C. and the U.S. will take place on Friday, Aug. 21 at 4 p.m. The game on Sunday, Aug. 23 will begin at 9 a.m.