Samantha Lillywhite and Mikayla Brennan-McCann display their silver medals from the 2017 Canadian Rugby Championships. Both girls are headed to Vegas with BC Elite Youth Sevens teams this week. (Citizen file)

Cowichan Valley players off to Vegas Sevens

Several Cowichan Valley-based rugby players are among more than three dozen from across the province on BC Elite Youth Sevens teams bound for the Las Vegas Invitational this week.

The three BC Elite teams — boys, U18 girls and U16 girls — are expecting tough competition at the highly regarded tournament.

“The American teams, already highly athletic, have made significant gains in tactics and game understanding in the last four years which will put the team under pressure,” said B.C. boys head coach Tony LaCarte, who is hoping for a top-three finish after placing fifth in the Boys High School Elite Division last year. “Our aim with our BCEY7s team is to expose them to a high-performance Rugby Sevens environment and see who can step up to play at this level.”

Local representation on the boys team will come from Matt McDougall-Percillier, Siôn Griffiths and Zephyr Melnyk. McDougall-Percillier and Griffiths both call Mill Bay home, attend Brentwood College School and play for the Cowichan Rugby Football Club. Melnyk also plays for the CRFC, but lives on Gabriola Island and attends Nanaimo District Secondary.

Both B.C. girls teams will feature lots of new talent, something program head and U18 coach Darcy Patterson is excited to see.

“It will be a good marker of the depth in our province, as well as a great experience for this group to showcase all they have been working on,” Patterson said.

The U18 girls side will include Valley products MJ Jumeau (Cowichan Secondary/CRFC), and the U16 squad will include Mia Eagar (Cowichan Secondary/CRFC), and Mikayla Brennan-McCann and Samantha Lillywhite (both Shawnigan Lake School/CRFC).

All three B.C. teams leave for Vegas on Wednesday for the tournament, with games taking place on March 1-3. Visit bcrugby.com or usasevens.com for more information.

boys

BC Elite Youth Sevens Boys’ Team – Las Vegas 2018

Brock McCartney, Robert Bateman (Abbotsford, BC)

Brady Smith, Earl Marriot (South Surrey, BC)

Daniel Damron, Earl Marriot (White Rock, BC)

Izzak Kelly, Earl Marriot, (White Rock, BC)

Johnny Sutherland, Semiahmoo Secondary, (Surrey, BC)

Joshua Elbourne, Canadian Sport School/Esquimalt High, (Victoria, BC)

Matt McDougall Percillier, Brentwood College (Mill Bay, BC)

Nathan Holm, Collingwood (West Vancouver, BC)

Thomas Kirkwood, St. George’s (Vancouver, BC)

Tom Abercrombie, Oak Bay High, (Victoria, BC)

Tyler Buchanan, Semiahmoo Secondary, (White Rock, BC)

Siôn Griffiths, Brentwood College, (Mill Bay, BC)

Siaki Seumanutafa, Pacific Academy, (Surrey, BC)

Zephyr Melnyk, Nanaimo District Secondary, (Gabriola Island, BC)

u18 girls

Kashish Arya, Abbotsford RFC

Tayler Bailey, Abbotsford RFC

Madison Blusson, Williams Lake

Brittany Gardiner, Castaway Wanderers RFC

Amelia Gordon, Castaway Wanderers RFC

Callie Harder, Kamloops RFC/Lillooet

MJ Jumeau, Cowichan RFC

Emily Meier, Abbotsford RFC

Jordyn Myers, Abbotsford RFC

Ella O’Regan, James Bay Athletic Association

Maelle Reed, Castaway Wanderers RFC

Rachel Smith, Bayside Sharks RFC/Earl Marriot

Non-travelling Reserves

Kelsey White, Castaway Wanderers RFC

Alancia Jefferey, Abbotsford RFC

Staff

Head Coach: Darcy Patterson

Assistant Coach: Mandy Marchak

Medical: Morgan Sangster

BC Elite Youth Sevens Girls’ U16 Team – Las Vegas 2018

Halle Smith, Kamloops RC

Caleigh Silversides, Kamloops RC

Esita Quiodravu, Kamloops RC

Cassie Hul, Abbotsford RFC

Niki Duchesne, Bayside Sharks RFC

Samantha Lillywhite, Shawnigan Lake

Mikayla Brennan, Shawnigan Lake

Mia Eagar, Cowichan RFC

Madison Makara, Abbotsford RFC

Sierra Gillis, Belmont Secondary

Libby Hogg, James Bay Athletic Association

Sarah Meier, Abbotsford RFC

Non-traveling Reserves:

Kira Peary, Abbotsford RFC

Chloe Hill Huse, Castaway Wanderers RFC

Jade Meldrum, Williams Lake

u16 girls

Halle Smith, Kamloops RC

Caleigh Silversides, Kamloops RC

Esita Quiodravu, Kamloops RC

Cassie Hul, Abbotsford RFC

Niki Duchesne, Bayside Sharks RFC

Samantha Lillywhite, Shawnigan Lake

Mikayla Brennan, Shawnigan Lake

Mia Eagar, Cowichan RFC

Madison Makara, Abbotsford RFC

Sierra Gillis, Belmont Secondary

Libby Hogg, James Bay Athletic Association

Sarah Meier, Abbotsford RFC

Non-traveling Reserves:

Kira Peary, Abbotsford RFC

Chloe Hill Huse, Castaway Wanderers RFC

Jade Meldrum, Williams Lake

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