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

Ambulance service practises virtual reality CPR in Victoria

Training takes place on B.C. Parliament lawns

Block party hosted in Oak Bay to welcome two young Syrian refugees

Funds raised will support the brothers for first year on Island

Queue up a playlist of Victoria musicians

Local guitarist, Cody Rueger, creates playlist to highlight Victoria’s music scene

Risk of thunderstorms in Wednesday’s forecast

Plus a look ahead at the weekend forecast

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

B.C. municipality prepares to forbid overnight camping by homeless despite court ruling

While courts have ruled against blanket bans, Langley City is employing a site-by-site approach

B.C. auditor says Indigenous grad rate highest ever but education gaps exist

The percentage of Indigenous students graduating from B.C. public high schools has hit its highest level ever

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

BREAKING: Forest fire on North Island disrupts Hwy. 19

Wildfire has reached .25 hectares, according to BC Wildfire Service

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

Most Read