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Eagle Impact Summer Reports: British Columbia

irish rugby tours

Eagle Impact Summer Reports: British Columbia

Eagle Impact Rugby Academy toured three countries on four different tours this past summer, and we’re having a look at how they did.


British Columbia EIRA Tour

EIRA took four teams to British Columbia in July, passing up the usual destination of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver for Shawnigan Lake Schools on Vancouver Island.

The location was picturesque and certainly had its wild side. Players were given warnings of apex predators nearby twice—once for a bear, once for a cougar.

But they survive, and with coaches Sean O’Leary, Tim Kluempers, Sean Dufy, Steve Jones, Andrew Brischke, Jeff Bonnett, Gary Anderson, and others, the program got much-needed experience.

It’s worth noting that these EIRA team, which drew mostly from the Western US, was missing some players who were selected for the HS All Americans’ trip to Canada (which was completely separate), and also for the overseas EIRA trips.

BC, meanwhile, was full of players and EIRA agreed to allow open substitutions. So the BC teams usually ran on a completely different set of 15 players at halftime.

While the results should be taken at face value, it is worth remembering that BC had a fresh group on at the break.

The EIRA U15s split their two games with the BC U15s. Coach Sean O’Leary took a relatively young team of players born in 2005 and 2006 and they learned a great deal.

Some of the older U15s moved up to the U16s, with Riley Elliot being one of the notable ones. The U16s were under the gun against a very deep BC U16s squad (this was the age-group that had open subs).

See the 2nd U15s game here

Program Director Salty Thompson said that while the U16s went 0-2, “it was great for the kids because they had a ton of playing time under a lot of pressure.”

See EIRA U16s vs BC U16s from July 11 here

And Game 2 here

The U17s did well, winning one game against BC’s U17s and one against an English touring side (coming back to take it 20-15). Overall they played a very solid brand of rugby.

See U17s vs BC U17s Here

The U18s had a slightly different experience. With some HS All Americans missing the team pitched up against BC U18s and also an English touring team

Both games were a loss, but once again provided experience game experience for these players.