With the 2015 athletic season quickly approaching, the Brock Badgers men’s and women’s rugby teams are trying to put together rosters that will continue to expand the breadth of the programs. The men’s team hopes to improve upon last year’s record of going 5-2-1, while the women take a long-term approach to their year after a 0-5 record.
“It would be hard to say that this year’s roster is better than last year’s” said Philip Sullivan, the men’s Head Coach.
Sullivan’s team has lost quite a few players to graduation, including four OUA all-stars. Regardless, Sullivan continues to see a chance for his team to remain competitive like last year.
The team will see Jeremy Brownridge, Chris Gladney and Eric Moyers returning to the 2014 roster. Those are three guys Sullivan sees taking a leap into the vacant leadership role. Dylan Mundy, Nabeel Imtiaz and Liam Grimes were ineligible to play last season, but will join the team this season. Also, Bill Watters and Zach White are two rookies whom Sullivan hopes will be able to step in and help out.
Queen’s University has been the men’s champion for three straight years, making them a clear target for the Badgers this upcoming season.
“We played them to a one-score game (last season), and McMaster beat them (Brock beat McMaster), so we’ve proved they’re beatable,” says Sullivan.
On the women’s side, Rebecca Delaney is heading into her second year as Head Coach and is hoping to change the team’s fortune.
“Our women’s program here at Brock is on a long-term development plan to make us a contender,” said Delaney. “I believe we made some great changes last year with the girls and if we are able to continue on that trend moving into this season we should see some great performance indicators on the pitch.”
Delaney and her staff have been focusing on technical skills with their roster and hope to add some game sense tactical skills this upcoming season to improve upon the team’s dynamic.
“We have two very good captains (Rebecca Van Der Zalm and Lauren Kniewasser) that are able to inspire and support the entire program,” Delaney explained. Katie Faust, a fullback for the Badgers, will be returning for her fifth year as well. Lauren Wilks, who transferred from St. Francis Xavier University, is also a solid addition.
“There are a few teams that we will be targeting key performance indicators that I think we should do very well against.” Delaney said.
Delaney see’s Laurier University and Waterloo University as good competition and hopes to have positive improvement from a game versus Trent University.
The men will begin training camp on August 24, which will continue for two more days. The women are set to have a two-day selection camp starting Aug. 22 to finalize the roster and will begin training camp later in the month.
Sullivan and his roster will open their eight game season on September 9 on the road at McMaster. The women’s team will be on the road as well to begin the season, as they head to Guelph on Sept. 11.