By Brian Lowe,
The Canada West men’s team has been confirmed for this weekend’s inaugural East-West rugby league ‘Thunderdome’ game in Toronto.
In Canada’s version of an All-Star game, the best players from eastern and western provinces will line up against each other in what is envisaged will become an annual match.
Canada Rugby League Association (CRLA) vice-president Josh Knight says Western Canada vs Eastern Canada is a major move forward for the game in Canada.
“This platform creates a framework and selection process for national team selection, introducing a natural rivalry between the two sides of Canada,” says Knight.
“Although Ontario Rugby League (ORL) was formed before the British Columbia/Alberta Rugby League, the west has felt left out from a lot of decisions made by the national association and national team selection, as they are mainly based in Ontario. This game, as well as others moving forward, creates a chance for Western Canadian rugby league players to be seen by decision makers in the East.
“It also helps create interest for rugby league, by players who may not live in the current provinces that have their own associations, such as Quebec for the East and Manitoba for the West. Western Canada have two players currently out of Saskatchewan which is amazing in building new areas of growth.”
The game is scheduled to be played this Saturday, January 11, at Lamport Stadium in Toronto.
Canada West starting 20:
Lawrence Ross (VC)
Scyler Dumas (C)
Head coach: Blake Stewart
Assistant: Alex Dreger