Top level coaching and success on the field has led to numerous BLRC players being selected for regional, provincial and national representative sides. Below are profiles of BLRC’s most successful representative players.
Pat Riordan has assumed the captaincy of Canada’s national rugby team. He earned his first cap as a hooker for Canada in 2003, and continues to anchor the front row, recently earning his 27th cap. As well, Pat has captained the BC Bears provincial Men’s rep team. Pat has played club rugby in Wales, New Zealand, Australia and captained the Uvic Vikes to the CDI Premier Championship in 2010. Pat has trained with the national team in Victoria for the past few years, but has recently returned to the Blue and White, where his considerable knowledge and intensity sets the tone for game day.
Canada second row, Canada captain and Canada’s most successful professional player, Mike James recently retired from professional rugby and returned home to Vancouver. Mike played for and captained the prestigious French Barbarians, and was featured in the 2005 team that included New Zealand greats Justin Marshall and Kees Meeuws. He ended his career with Stade Francais, and was part of the Stade Francais teams that won the French Premiership titles in 2003, 2004 and 2007, and went to the finals of the Heineken Cup in 2001 and 2005. He has earned 50 caps for Canada, 9 of which have come from World Cup matches. He has captained Canada on several occasions, and most recently in the match against France at Nantes. James has appeared in 4 World Cups – in 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007. Mike is currently the Head Coach of the BC Bears Men’s Provincial Rep Side, and can be seen helping the BLRC coaching staff in the development of our up and coming players.
A former member of the Canadian Under-23 Development Program Julia earned her first full cap in 2004 against the Black Ferns. Since then Julia has gone on to earn 30 caps with the Canada team. Recently, she competed in her 2nd Women’s Rugby World Cup where she helped the team to a sixth place finish. She has recently returned to the BLRC after spending a year with the Saracens in London, UK.
Ryan Banks represented Canada 36 times on the national men’s rugby squad. The former Team Canada captain and No. 8, played for the national team at the men’s World Cup in 1999 and again in 2003. Banks played one season professionally for Bedford in England. Upon his return to Canada, he took over Head Coaching duties as well as starting on our Premier team. It is rumoured that his former opponents still wake in the middle of the night with nightmares of straight-arms.
Anna Schnell has been a member of the National Senior Women’s Team since November 2005. Anna earned her first cap against the USA in June of 2006,and now has 20 caps to her name. She was a member of both the 2006 and 2010 World Cup squad’s. At the 2010 World Cup she scored 46 points, making her the second highest point scorer of the tournament. Anna has captained the BLRC Premier Women’s team for the past few years and was recently named BC Rugby’s 2010 Womens Player of the Year.
Canada #8 and Canada captain, Colin was playing top grade rugby before many of BLRC’s current Premier players were even born. “Yeller” continues to suit up and lead the BLRC into battle every Saturday.
Originally from Argentina, Dr. Maria Gallo(Phd in Exercise Physiology from the University of Alberta) is one of Canada’s most accomplished female Rugby Players. Maria’s debut for the NSWT came against the USA in 1999. Since then, she has earned 55 caps in the 15′s game, and 8 caps in the 7′s game. She has played in 3 Womens Rugby World Cups,(Spain 2002, Edmonton 2006, England 2010) being named as Alternate Captain in 2010. She was also named Captain of Canada’s team at the Womens 7′s World Cup in Dubai in 2009. In addition to her contributions to our National Senior Womens Teams, Maria also represented Alberta from 2002 to 2006, and British Columbia from 2007 to 2010.
Corinne has represented British Columbia at the Women’s National Championships since 2002, helping the team place 1st in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010. In 2009, she made her Canadian National Senior Women’s Team debut in Dijon France. Corinne started the game wearing the #3 jersey, and helped Canada defeat the French by a score of 14 to 5. Since then, Corinne has earned 7 more caps with our National Team; four of them coming at the 2010 Women’s World Cup.