Monday's Musings


While we move into the Christmas seasons it is a time for gratitude and reflection.  Castaway Wanderers Rugby club would like to take this time to thank all of the hard-working volunteers who have pitched in to make CW the premier rugby club in Canada.  We certainly have a wonderful community that helps to make our rugby environment safe and inclusive.

Last year, the club received a $15000 Provincial Government Rally Together grant aimed at volunteer activation.  This grant was critical in establishing the following initiatives:

1.     Mini Rugby year end volunteers’ recognition (April 2023).

2.     Club Advance for board members (June 2023) including BoD onboarding and strategic plan development.

3.     Coaching Summit (September 2023)- Including World Rugby Level 1 (NCCP community sport), Make Ethical Decisions, World Rugby Referees course, Safe Sport Update.

4.     Volunteer Appreciation Night (Sept 2023).

5.     Club jacket purchase for coaches and managers.

6.     Developed club Strategic Plan.

7.     Developed a volunteer restricted fund to allocate donations to ongoing volunteer appreciation.

The club has over 100 volunteers serving in different capacities from coaching to game day set up and a variety of other projects.  Our volunteer activation resulted in over 20 new volunteers assisting in club projects, 30 people attending our inaugural coaching summit, and over 50 jackets being handed out to coaches and managers.

As a forward thinking club our New Strategic Plan will provide direction for a solid future.  We have also seen great success in our rugby programs with junior and mini membership continuing to grow, and four out of our six junior programs winning the Island Championships this fall.  Congratulations again to our U18 Girls’ program for their victory at the provincial club finals. 

Our club is volunteer led and with the dedication of these hard-working individuals we continue to raise the standard for rugby clubs in Canada.  No volunteer role is too small, and it is great to see our parents and players helping each other at practices and games, whether cleaning the shed, serving hot chocolate or laundering the jerseys. 

Thank you again to all our volunteers for their dedication and Merry Christmas.

                                 Julianne Zussman Inducted into Canadian Rugby Hall of Fame

“Player, coach and now referee, Julianne Zussman has excelled at every level of her rugby career.  At the local level, Zussman’s career as a player began in the grassroots game playing at her high school, Ashbury College. She went on to play for four different rugby clubs across Canada including the Ottawa Irish, Town of Mount Royal RFC, Velox RFC and Castaway Wanderers RFC. Julianne also played on Rugby Quebec’s Provincial Team.

As an international rugby player, Zussman earned a total of 44 caps over the span of her career, scoring a total of 18 tries, often running in the back three. She earned her first cap against Scotland in 2007 and played for Canada at the 2010, 2014 and 2017 Rugby World Cups, claiming a silver medal in 2014. At the conclusion of the 2017 Rugby World Cup, Julianne was named to the World Rugby Dream Team and was named the 2017 recipient of Rugby Canada’s Gillian Florence Award, a peer selected award given to the player who “best represents the qualities of Canadian rugby”. Zussman also represented Canada on the 7s pitch, playing in 11 international tournaments.

Since retiring as a player, she made significant strides in her career as an international match official. In 2019, she officially became the first capped Canadian rugby player to referee at the international level, making her debut on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Since then, she has officiated several international sevens tournaments and 15s fixtures, including the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, the Women’s Six Nations, the Rugby World Cup Sevens and the 2021 Rugby World Cup (played in 2022).” (Credit Rugby Canada)

On a CW level, “Zuss” captained our women’s team in its fledgling days, after moving from Westshore. It was a team of very good players in its inaugural year. The Women defeated Westshore in an upset, 31 – 15 in a rugby "classic" BC Championship, in 2016.


As mentioned, Julia has become a premier referee, someone who facilitates players, particularly male players, to be better for the experience and she has utmost respect from all players who have experienced her officiating prowess.  Congratulations, Julia.  You are a very worthy recipient of the honour. We add our congratulations to all of the other nominees.

2024 is going to be a big year for the BC Bears Girls 7s Program, kicking off with U16 Girls Tropical 7s Trials and a Skills and Development Session. The BC Bears U16 Girls 7s team will be heading to Florida to compete in the Tropical 7s in March, while the U18 Girls 7s Program will once again compete at the Global Youth Sevens in December. The BC Summer Games will see eight zones compete in Girls Rugby 7s, while Rugby Sevens will once again be a showpiece spectacle at the 2024 Paris Olympics!


Who: Female athletes born 2008-2009

What: BC Bears Girls U16 Girls Tropical 7s Trials

Where: Wallace Field, University of Victoria, McKenzie Avenue, V8N 1E6

When: January 14, 2024

Time: 10:30am-1:00pm

Cost: $25                                                                                 REGISTER HERE

The 2024 BC Bears U19 Men’s campaign will begin this January with initial Island and Mainland Identification and Development Sessions, as we aim to prepare a BC Bears team to reclaim the Canadian National Championship U19 title.

The Island Session will be held at Westshore RFC on Sunday, January 14 at 12:00pm-3:00pm, with the Mainland Session taking place on Sunday, January 21 at 12:00pm-3:00pm at the Langley Events Center Stadium. There is a one-time registration fee of $25 that covers both sessions.


Must be born between 2005-2006
All attendees must be registered Members of a Rugby Club.
Pre-registration via the link below is mandatory. On-the-day registrations will not be accepted.
There is a one-time registration fee of $25 to offset associated field costs, provide medical support and lunch on the Saturday.

ISLAND SESSION: Westshore Rugby Club

Date: Sunday, January 14, 2024

Time: 12:00pm-3:00pm                                                           REGISTER HERE




Took a quick scan of Mark Bryant’s review (credit BCRN), of former Men’s Sevens Coach, Damien McGrath’s publication, “Can You Be Fluent in Success?

McGrath was one of our most successful and highly thought of overseas coaches. When McGrath and RC parted ways, he gathered his clan and presented them with a photographic memory of their highest achievement and many of the men were brought to tears with such a touching gesture. Think I’ll go for it myself! (The book can be ordered on Amazon)