Langford Mayor Stew Young dodges the outstretched arms of Benji O'Connor

Canadians ready to prove themselves at Americas Rugby Championship

The past year has been a pain in the groin for rugby player Mike Scholz, who will play in the ARC in Langford

The past year has been a pain in the groin for rugby player Mike Scholz.

Two separate injuries have kept the 25-year-old from playing since the summer of 2012.

The speedy centre has been to Friday’s starting roster as Canada’s 15s team faces Uruguay in the opening match of the 2013 Americas Rugby Championship at Westhills Stadium.

Kick off for Canada vs. Uruguay is 8 p.m. The earlier game sees U.S.A. face Argentina at 6 p.m.

Playing in the ARC is a year late and a long time coming for Scholz, he said. The injuries that forced him to miss the ARC and most rugby from last winter and spring were not your typical broken rib or concussion, but rather an issue with his core muscles.

“Last year the ARC was just the start of it. I had osteitis pubis, common with over training. It was really uncomfortable, it’s when your pubic bones tear apart.”

Scholz first came to Victoria in 2011 and was recruited by the Castaway Wanderers. He helped them win the 2011 B.C. Premier League club championship and played for Canada in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The ARC is designed to develop players like Scholz (inset photo), who had limited playing time with the national 15s but made regular appearances with Canada’s sevens team.

After missing the 2012 championship, Scholz was ready to play sevens and return to the Castaway Wanderers whenever possible. But as awful as his first injury was, it got worse. After two months of rehab last winter, he suffered a second setback with another groin tear.

“It was hard to deal with, but being around the (national team) guys every day helped,” he said.

Scholz returned to action in early August of 2013 and won bronze with Canada’s second tier sevens team at the rugby sevens portion of the World Games in Columbia. From there he moved to playing for the Ontario Blues, which won its third straight Canadian Rugby Championship in September.

“I’ve come about a full year now and back to full health for the ARC.”

Canada is seeking its first ARC title, after finishing second to Argentina last year in Langford. The host side faces the U.S. on Tuesday (Oct. 15) then finishes against Argentina Oct. 19.

Scholz and other ARC players were selected from their respective provincial teams after the Canadian championships by Rugby Canada head coach Kieran Crowley and staff. Scholz and the others hope to turn the opportunity of playing in the ARC into a spot on Canada’s squad for the upcoming November test series.

This year Canada’s senior men’s team opens the series at home against the New Zealand Maori, an all-aboriginal All Blacks squad, on Nov. 3 at Toronto’s BMO Field. Canada, ranked 14th in the world, will play its final three games in Europe against 16th-ranked Georgia on Nov. 9, No. 17 Romania on Nov. 16 and No. 22 Portugal on Nov. 23.

Tickets for the ARC are available at the gate or online at rugbycanada.ca.

Canada’s Roster to Face Uruguay:

1- Andrew Tiedemann, (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB – Captain2- Micha Gorvorchin, (Burnaby Lake RC/BC Bears) New Westminster3- Jake Illnicki, (Williams Lake Rustlers/Auckland Colts) Williams Lake 4- Henry (Hank) McQueen, (Balmy Beach/Ontario Blues) Vancouver 5- Aaron Flagg, (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford6- Callum Morrison, (UBCOC Ravens/BC Bears) Victoria 7- Adam Kleeberger, (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) White Rock8- Zac Coughlan, (Swilers RFC/The Rock) St. John’s, NL9- Jamie Mackenzie, (UVIC Vikes/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON10- Jack Fitzpatrick, (Dublin University Football Club) Dublin, Ireland11- Joe Dolesau, (Burnaby Lake RC/BC Bears) Burnaby 12- Mike Scholz, (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) London, ON13- Conor Trainor, (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver 14- Duncan Maguire, (St. Albert Rugby Club/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB15- Adam McQueen, (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Canmore, AB16- Ray Barkwill, (Niagara Wasps RFC/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON17- Doug Wooldridge, (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON18- Ryan March, (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford 19- Kyle Baille, (Castaway Wanderers/The Rock) Charlottetown, PEI20- Matt Heaton, (SABRFC/The Rock) Godmanchester, QC21- Alistair Clark, (Baystreet RFC/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON22- Sean White, (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria 23- Jordan Wilson-Ross, (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Alliston, ON

Americas Rugby ChampionshipFriday, Oct. 116 p.m. U.S.A. vs. Argentina8 p.m. Canada vs. UruguayTuesday, Oct. 156 p.m. Canada vs. U.S.A.8 p.m. Argentina vs. UruguaySaturday, Oct. 196 p.m. U.S.A. vs. Uruguay8 p.m. Canada vs. Argentina

 

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