Wednesday's Ruck & Maul
A CW Homecoming
This coming weekend will see the return of many former CW Juniors and others who have spent countless hours at Windsor but now ply their trade with UVic. The Vikes will likely feature names from the following; Macbryan Bos, Jeff Nishima-Miller, Joe Erlic, Morgan Tate, Fergus Hall, Evan Cambridge, Jack Nyren and Lucas Hammond. The Norsemen have potential for a bunch more – Daniel Evans, Rhys & Brennig Prevost, Carter White, Braydon Tate and Gavin Kratz, being a few that come to mind. It is a treat to see these young men getting on with their lives at University and also continuing to play and enjoy rugby under the University experience banner, an experience very different to a club continuum. On the other side of the ball will be a number of UVic grads, plus some who tried the University experience. Captain Woolridge, Bros. Ilnicki, Fraser, Fuailefau, Polson, Horton, McCloskey, Dobrofsky, possibly Ancil and not the least being Head Coach, Scott Manning. It is perhaps fitting for CW to have such a large amount of Varsity experience after many years of feeding Varsity squads.
This makes a perfect segue to the UVic graduate experience. More often than not players have to leave Victoria after graduating but that has not always been the case. In 1978 Vikes grads got together, with the initiative of Alastair ‘Taxi’ Palmer and CW’s own, Mr. Rugby, Brent Johnston, to play some exhibition games under Barbarian “rules” – predominantly no kicking of the football, no matter the circumstances, enjoying running rugby and post-game conviviality. The initial match was at Cowichan with the Valhallians including a number of grads already playing with other clubs. It became so enjoyable that a number of the boys discussed the possibility of entering a club in the VIRU League, similar to their UBC counterparts in Vancouver – The Ravens. Finally, in 1987, after much deliberation, this group threw their hats in with the Velox club, becoming the Velox-Valhallians, the sixth “senior team” in the city, along with Oak Bay Wanderers, JBAA, Castaways, Cowichan and UVic. This amalgamation gave them a home field and clubhouse and talent pool of depth from an established and successful First Div club that was entertaining thoughts of “promotion” – seemingly the perfect marriage. With the advent of less available work, players have come and gone over the years however Mike Holmes and Mark Wyatt have remained constant and instrumental in the next evolutionary step. Today we see Westshore having made a successful geographical move, thriving with potentially a vast player base, a healthy financial base and having dropped the Valhallians name altogether! Original Valhallians may be disappointed to see the moniker disappear and in the years since the inception, grads have found their way to other clubs.
After his graduation, Andrew Tiedemann threw his hat in with The Tricolours and this has seen an increasing influx of those few grads who are able to stay in the city move to CW, this season being a particularly bountiful one! This weekend’s probable selections will highlight this story. Based on the opening two games by the clubs, the action should be both highly skilled and frantic and another cracker at The Park.
A closing note today is one of a congratulatory nature with the announcement of four CW payers being selected for the upcoming America’s Rugby Championship with matches against Argentina, Samoa and U.S.A. Players range in experience from vast – Nanyak Dala, to nil, with a meteoric rise – Anton Ngongo. On the wing position also, we have newcomer to Ceedub, Dan Moor and finally, Doug Fraser who earned his first International stripes this past summer when he was selected to tour the U.K. with Canada. The club is very proud of your achievements and wish you and your team mates every success.