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Washington Loggers, British Columbia Partner For Series

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Washington Loggers, British Columbia Partner For Series

Dennis Cairns photo.

The Washington Loggers state rep side has reached an agreement with the British Columbia RFU to player the British Columbia Representative XV at all age grades, U14, U16, and U18, in the summer of 2020. 

The matches expand a cross-border development partnership that began in 2014, based on long-standing relationships at the men’s club level.  

“We had a lot of great relationships in BC through the years playing with Seattle Rugby Club,” said David Miller, Loggers Director. “With the commitment of Matt Gordon at Victoria’s Castaway-Wanderers, we went from occasional match tourists, to looking at the exchanges as a long-term co-development opportunity between State and Province.” 

In 2018 the Loggers U14s toured Vancouver, playing to a packed Klahanie Park crowd, losing narrowly to a spirited BC Representative side.

“That set the hook,” said Miller. “The hosting was amazing, the culture is right, the rugby was fast and clean. The boys loved the challenge.”

Last summer the series expanded, with the Loggers U18 playing at the impressive Gerald McGavin UBC Rugby Centre, falling in the final seven minutes to a highly-skilled BC XV. The Canadians reciprocated, sending a U14 side across the border to play the Loggers at Chuckanut Bay RFC's dedicated facility, with the Loggers securing a victory. 

“The value of the relationship between BC Rugby and the Washington Loggers is fantastic," said Aaron Takel, BC Rugby’s Men & Boys' Rugby Development Manager. "It’s great to have like-minded coaches and players that place such importance on the growth and development of the game and its values just across the international border.”

“There’s mutual benefit here,” added Miller. “Clearly the USA and Canada want to improve their World Cup performances. That is going to take sustained grassroots efforts to match against worthy opponents, more often, at an earlier age, in a proper training environment, with character at the core.”

“These games come with the special mind-set of a touring game, with the opportunity to face players that you don’t get the opportunity to in our domestic competitions," said Takei. "It also allows us to carry the traditions of hosting each other after the game, to share a meal and recognize the tremendous efforts of players, parents and volunteers. It allows us to build relationships and experiences that will last in the memories of those involved for years to come.”

Loggers coach Jason Penaluna is a capped Canadian International, so he sees the value. “The Loggers provide the platform. Collaborating across our local clubs, we’re sending more players into top college programs, the USA National age-grade teams, into the Seattle Saracens and the Seattle Seawolves. It’s great for BC Rugby, and Canadian rugby, to see the opportunities for players on each side.

“We’re going to develop players no matter what their course in life, no matter who they play for, no matter what their background," continued Penaluna. "Our Logger Ethan Fryer, a dual citizen, is trialing for Canada U20s next month. The approach is to think globally, and act locally. Give the game to the players, based on what they want to achieve.”

The Washington Loggers and BC Representative XV play U16 and U18 on July 25th, 2020 in Canada. The U14s face-off August 8th.