The program will continue to go outside for its practices, despite the recent dump of snow, as it prepares for its regular-season opener on the road in Cardston on Thursday.
“We did some indoor stuff while it was really cold, but we started outside last week and we are going to be outside again (Monday). We have to because of (limited) practices before our first game,” said Andrew Llewelyn-Jones, co-coach of the W.R. Myers Rebels girls rugby team. “We have to be outside, I know it’s cold and freezing, but rugby is a game that can be played in the elements outside. There’s only so much you can learn practising inside.”
There will be both junior varsity and varsity girls rugby teams fielded this season for W.R. Myers with many Grade 10s graduating to varsity from last year.
“Our JV team looks very good as far as numbers go. Our varsity program is a little lighter, but we have some great Grade 10s who can play up so they’ll be floaters between both programs,” said Llewelyn-Jones. “I think our level of rugby, you’ll certainly be seeing an improvement as we move forward. The numbers that have come out to practices, you are definitely seeing a keener interest in the game of rugby.”
Llewelyn-Jones noted it is always a balancing act at practice to appease new players learning the game while keeping the more experienced players engaged.
“You can do the basic rugby skills, but that holds back those girls who have a lot more experience and want to do something more advanced,” said Llewelyn-Jones.
Aiding the program this year will be W.R. Myers vice principal Greg Thompson, who has played rugby in the past, and who can also serve as a pipeline for recruitment.
“It is great to have him on board. He’s in the school and knows the girls very well. We are looking forward to his rugby expertise,” said Llewelyn-Jones. “We are quietly confident that we will compete well this year. We feel like we have some good athletes on this team and some girls who are really getting into rugby where some have gone to the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns camps in the fall and the spring. Hopefully the weather will co-operate against Cardston. It’s always good to get the first one under your belt to see how you stack up and what we need to do and what we need to work on.”