Squamish-picked Western Canadian Rugby League teams to play in Ontario

Face-off between East vs. West teams in January to be played in front of national scouts

The first Western Rugby League team was originally scheduled to play in California, but a lack of U.S. players put a new game into motion — between eastern and western Canadian teams.

All the organizing for a team to travel was done in the lead up to the California game, and the players still wanted to travel this season.

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A game between the East and West has never been played before, Blake Stewart, the Squamish coach who chose the players for the Western Rugby League team, told The Chief.

The two will meet on the field in January at Lamport Stadium, under a dome that is usually used by the professional team, the Toronto Wolfpack, the first trans-Atlantic Rugby League team.

Not only will the game play on, but a western Canadian women's team will also compete. All told, 40 players and up to 10 staff from western Canada — including some from Squamish — will travel to Ontario in January.

The games will be played in front of the national selectors, who choose players for the national team. Normally, selections are based on videos, but this game means many of the players will be seen in-action.

"It's a huge opportunity for anyone playing," Stewart said.

Next year, the Canadian national team will play against Jamaica and the U.S.

Stewart is also hoping to start a local Rugby League team in Squamish and Whistler next year.

 

 

 

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