Vancouver Rugby Festival Kicks Off Thursday at UBC: Senior; U18; U16 Divisions
The Vancouver Rugby Festival kicks off tomorrow, it's a separate event from the National U18 championships going on at the same time. The VRF is hosted at UBC, the Nationals at Burnaby. The VRF features a senior competition, labelled NextGen, U18 and U16 divisions.
The senior level has fallen off a bit since last year, originally there was supposed to be an Elite and Open division but the Maple Leafs aren't going this year, the Wolf Pack dropped out and so now there's just one senior men's division. BC and Fiji Blond were in Elite last year so should do well, UBC if they enter their top team could be the competition favourites. The other University sides were likely hoping to be entered in the Open division so may struggle in some matches, VIU, UBCO, University of Regina, University of Saskatoon and Toronto Blues should be evenly matched.
The BC team that was in the Bowl competition in Vegas may be one of the favourites in Vancouver, here is a look at their team.
1 Darwin Guevarra - 5th year in program - Abbotsford - 25
2 Gino Paolella - 2nd year in program - Is one who can make the next step - Inside centre behind Jeke in Burnaby - 22
3 Jordan Ford - 1st year - CW div 1 number 9, plays for Upright Rugby in Toronto - 24
4 Justin Logan - 1st year - CW premier winger- 22
5 Kieran McAuley - 2nd year - JBAA premier #7 - Should be in Maple Leafs - 24
6 Malcolm Klaver - 1st year - Caps div 1 scrum half - 21
7 Mitch Sora - 1st year - JBAA Prem winger - 23
8 Nathan Tough - 2nd year - JBAA div 1 centre - 22
9 Peyton Eagar - 1st year - Nanaimo Prem #7 - 19
10 Kimi Vunituraga - 2nd year and captain - Burnaby Prem #13
Only 5 teams entered and BC who won the Bowl in Vegas along with UVic will be favourites. University of Saskatchan and University of Regina made the trip and the only USA team, Central Washington will round out the field.
Two BC teams, along with Earl Marriott and Edmonton Gold are entered.
Two BC teams and Edmonton Gold form the three team competition.
Five teams entered, Edmonton Gold and Calgary Hornets from Alberta. Earl Marriott, Vancouver Selects and the Thunder Indigenous program complete the field.
Seven teams entered with BC accounting for three of them, Calgary and Edmonton, Manitoba travelling the farthest and the Thunder Indigenous program rounding out the field. The Thunder team have 7 returning players from last summer when they won their own Thunder 7s tournament at Shawnigan Lake school.