Cowichan Valley products prepare for U20 camp

Camp runs Jan. 3-7 at Shawnigan Lake School

Cowichan Valley products prepare for U20 camp

The selection camp for Canada’s U20 men’s rugby team at Shawnigan Lake School early in 2020 will include several players with ties to the Cowichan Valley.

Mill Bay’s Sion Griffiths and Matt Percillier, both graduates of Brentwood College School now playing for Castaway Wanderers and UBC, respectively, will be joined by former Cowichan Rugby Football Club member Zephyr Melnyk of Nanaimo. Reece Tudor-Jones of Shawnigan Lake, a product of Shawnigan Lake School now playing for UVic, was also invited to the camp, but is unavailable, and Mill Bay’s Ciaran Breen, another Shawnigan grad is playing for Biarritz in France and is also unable to attend.

Matt Percillier’s brother, Will, played in three Junior World Trophy tournaments for Canada, captaining the squad a year ago.

A total of 40 players will attend the camp, which begins on Jan. 3 and wraps up with an intersquad game on Jan. 7. The final squad will be selected after the camp for test matches in Portugal in February.

It’s all part of a busy 2020 for the U20 men’s program, which will play an unprecedented eight games leading up to the Junior World Trophy qualifier in June. Canada swept past the U.S. in the two-game qualifier at Shawnigan Lake School last June. This year’s qualifier will be a single game, played as part of the Americas U20 Rugby Championships in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Prior to that tournament, Canada will hold another camp at Shawnigan on May 24-June 4.