From left: Yale rugby players who have earned spots on provincial  and national clubs this season are: Matt Fraser

From left: Yale rugby players who have earned spots on provincial and national clubs this season are: Matt Fraser

Yale secondary rugby players named to elite squads

Five players will suit up for national and provincial rugby teams

  • Jan. 28, 2015 11:00 a.m.

Yale secondary’s hockey academy has received a lot of attention lately with two of its alumni suiting up for Team Canada at the world juniors. But it’s not just about pucks at the school.

The school’s rugby program is also producing elite-level players, including five who have recently been selected to provincial and national squads.

Matt Fraser and Josh Long, both in Grade 11, have earned spots on the Canada West U17 squad and will join Canada’s top male prospects for a one-week development camp at Shawnigan Lake that begins on Feb. 27.

“The athletes were tested in three key areas of fitness during the fall camp and will be re-tested again at the combined camp. We’re obviously hoping to see improvements in these areas, which will help identify those athletes committed to do the necessary work required to play for their country,” said Dean Murten, head coach for Canada U17 West. “On top of this, we also need to see progress in some of the core skills that have been evaluated.”

Yale’s Connor Byron and Diego Zuniga, Grade 10, meanwhile, have been selected to the U16 BC Youth 7s squad that will be participating in a tour to Las Vegas from Feb. 11 to 15.

Mackenzie Carson, Grade 11, made the U17 BC Youth 7s female team that is headed to the same tournament in Las Vegas.

“It shows that the program is really strong and we’ve got some good coaching,” said rugby coach Clayton Radons, noting that the school has a total of five coaches.

That’s a good thing, because rugby is now the most popular sport at the school based on participation numbers.

“Our participation numbers are just massive – its the main sport [at the school] numbers-wise. [There are more kids] in rugby than any other sports.”