Mill Bay’s Will McDougall-Percillier trains with French pro rugby club Stade Français in Paris. (Submitted)

Mill Bay’s Will McDougall-Percillier trains with French pro rugby club Stade Français in Paris. (Submitted)

McDougall-Percillier gets top Rugby Canada honour

“I’m really stoked about getting this award”

Mill Bay’s Will McDougall-Percillier received one of Rugby Canada’s top annual honours last week when he was named Young Male Player of the Year for 2019.

Because of COVID-19, this year’s awards were presented digitally on Facebook instead of in person, but that didn’t take away from McDougall-Percillier’s enthusiasm.

“I’m really stoked about getting this award,” he told Duncan-born Canadian rugby legend Gareth Rees, who served as host of the online ceremonies.

McDougall-Percillier spoke with Rees from Paris, France, where he is in preseason training with Stade Français for the upcoming Top 14 professional rugby season.

Signing his first pro contract was just the tip of the iceberg for McDougall-Percillier in 2019. He captained the national U20 team, helping Canada qualify for the Junior World Trophy tournament in Brazil by beating the U.S. in back-to-back games at Shawnigan Lake School last June, then led the entire JWT tournament in scoring with 65 points in four matches.

McDougall-Percillier also earned his first caps with the senior national team, appearing in three matches for Canada during the 2019 Americas Rugby Championship.

After wrapping up a two-year stint with the UBC Thunderbirds, which included national titles in 2017 and 2018, McDougall-Percillier inked his first pro deal, a three-year commitment to Stade Français.

“It’s been really busy, but I think when you’re a rugby player, that’s what you want,” McDougall-Percillier told Rees. “You want to be playing as much rugby as possible.”

Born in France, McDougall-Percillier grew up in Hong Kong and Singapore before moving to Mill Bay, where he played for the Cowichan Piggies and Brentwood College School.

He acknowledged his roots during his conversation with Rees, specifically pointing out Brentwood senior boys head coach Shane Thompson and head of school Bud Patel for their mentorship.

“I think a player is just as good as his surroundings and his coaching throughout the years. Huge shoutout to Cowichan and Brentwood.”

McDougall-Percillier also praised the efforts of Rugby Canada and the coaches for the Junior World Tournament team for making Canada a contender in Brazil.

“It was a monumental effort there to make the whole program professional, and if you ask me, they did a really good job,” he said. “Sometimes I thought they were going a bit hard, but when you want the results like we got in the end, two victories, it pays off.”

Now, McDougall-Percillier is pursuing a unique career as one of just four Canadians in France’s Top 14 pro rugby circuit, and he wants to represent his country as best he can.

“I think every foreigner will tell you there’s definitely a little bit of weight on your shoulders when you come from abroad,” he said. “There’s something that’s expected; there’s a reason you were brought from somewhere else and hopefully you have an edge on some of the local players. I feel that there’s something extra, like a little more spice, but I think I’ve handled it well, and it’s another reason to go after it.”

rugbyRugby Canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Pedestrians have rights to use highways

A highway is not the exclusive domain of drivers.

Sahtlam Volunteer Firefighters Association has stepped up, in spite of COVID, for a number of charities. (Submitted)
Sahtlam firefighters step up

Sahtlam Volunteer Firefighters Association has a long history of supporting charities

A mobile home fire prompted a quick response from firefighters Saturday around 3:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Mobile home up in flames at Duncan RV Park

One patient burned, EHS on scene

Phaecelia used as a cover crop attracts bees and provides them with high quality nectar. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Cover crops keep soil healthy and productive

We don’t harvest a cover crop and instead dig the tops under when they’re immature and soft

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson Column: Home is where you know your neighbours

My mom has lived at that address for 43 years.

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read