Coaches Tony La Carte and Sean White with manager Des Lynch after putting the BC NextGen players through their paces.

BC 7’s NextGen team heads to Las Vegas international tournament

North Saanich player among group to face the first big international challenge of the season

The B.C. Provincial Men’s rugby team, as part of their revamped NextGen program, sends a squad out to the Las Vegas Invitational 7s Tournament this week for a two-day competition among some of the best teams in the world.

North Saanich player Justin Logan, 23, made the cut to play prop on the 7s team, although he usually plays wing in the 15s format of the game.

“We’ve got an amazing amount of talent this year. Much bigger guys, much quicker, and we’re gelling a lot more than last year,” he said.

ALSO READ: Former elite players launch Sports Excellence Basketball at Parkland school

Logan, who has only been playing rugby for about four years, hopes to use the opportunity as a springboard into the Canadian Men’s National Team. He says he enjoys 7s but also has a passion for the 15-aside game.

“We’ve got really good guys like [coaches] Sean White and Tony La Carte and it’s great that they’ve got a sports psychologist on board as well,” he said.

Logan says as players move up the levels, they go to a range of tournaments, with recent teams competing in Dubai and South America.

White has been one of the key driving forces in the re-structuring of the squad and NextGen program.

“We’re looking for it to be a platform for players to be the next generation of international players for Canada,” he said.

White retired two years ago from the national team, after winning 27 international caps. He hopes to use the experiences he gained playing at the highest level to help develop up-and-coming young players.

He says 12 players have been selected for the Las Vegas 7s tournament, although there are 18 players on their current roster, with more due to be selected later in the season.

Against top international opposition, White thinks the tournament will indicate the distance of how far they are from their goal of supplying players to the next level on the Canadian rugby pyramid.

The excellent Canadian Women’s National Team is ranked third in the world and is caught in, what some commentators say, is an enviable cycle of self-perpetuating success. This is because they receive funding from organizations that offer it to successful teams with high chances of winning honours and corporate sponsors who want to associate themselves with success. The Canadian Men’s Team, ranked 21st in a competitive field, find funding more difficult to come by.

ALSO READ: Greater Victoria siblings score matching gold medals

White explains that in lieu of a professional league system, top provincial players are selected to play for the elite development squad called The Maple Leafs, who are then used as a talent pool to supply the men’s national team, who are paid to train and play.

It is his goal to develop players for the Maple Leafs’ 35-man roster.

Logan says the program has given him confidence in the future.

“I think with programs like this, we’re starting to get the development started early and soon new players will put pressure on those in the national team to keep their spots. I think it will boost everything up.”



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

A post-practice dissection of training by the coaches, manager and players. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Just Posted

Sooke cannabis report does little to answer production questions

Council is trying to get ahead of the issue

Crews respond to near drowning at Thetis Lake

Man taken to hospital after calls come in of drowning in progress

Vet services for Victoria’s pets of the homeless cancelled for first time in a decade

Vets for Pets faces a volunteer shortage that’s forced the group to cancel its recent service

Wooldog among mysteries uncovered with powerful UVic microscope

Finding ‘Mutton,’ a dog lost in a Smithsonian drawer for 150 years

Optometrist pedals through depression, leads others for the cause

Ride Don’t Hide bike rides start, end at Windsor Park

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read