Thursday, August 16, 2012 - Submitted by RC Communications
With its home opener just days away, the Prairie Wolf Pack are gunning to start the 2012 CRC season with a big win over their new pacific rival.
Head coach Col Jeffs returns to lead the Wolf Pack once again as he tries to build and maintain consistency on the field for a team mixed with rookies and veterans this season. Players will also draw leadership from 2011 World Cup veterans Nanyak Dala, Hubert Buydens, Andrew Tiedmann and Scott Franklin. Big performances are expected from Canadian U20 players, Casey Reid and Josh Hart.
Because the Wolf Pack regularly draws players from three different provinces, preparations have been undertaken since February to solidify a roster and build strong chemistry within the team. Management called in help from top level players and coaching staff around the world. Former Nation Senior Men’s Team player, Ryan Smith, signed on as team manager for 2012, while World Cup player and New South Wales Coach Jeremy Kyne joined as one of the many coaches who worked with players throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Though the team had a quiet offseason, the Wolf Pack made a name for itself over the winter with the signing of the several key sponsorships from the likes of Macquarie Private Wealth, Scollard Energy Inc, Ag Growth International, Peak Power, Newpark Drilling Fluids, and Coyote Ugly Canadian Whisky via Pure Global Imports. These signings are essential for the team and continue to show popularity of the Canadian Rugby Championships continues to grow.
The Wolf Pack is expected to play hungry this season, as it is the only CRC team out of the original four who has yet to win the MacTier Cup. The team recorded its strongest season in 2010, when they finished in second place with a 2-1 record and 10 divisional points. The Pack finished the 2011 season in third place with a 2-3 record and 12 points.
The Prairie’s representative team opens the 2012 season on August 18 when it welcomes the Pacific Tyee to the CRC at Calgary Rugby Park. The Wolf Pack is motivated to dominate the West and secure a MacTier Cup winning season before their new Western rivals do. A decisive victory over the Tyee would give Wolf Pack Players the confidence they head East to take on the Rock and the Blues in September. The Pack is consistently the best in the West, with a 2-1 record against the BC Bears since 2010.
With a legendary coach familiar with Prairie rugby and a stable of skilled players that includes three World Cup veterans, the Wolf Pack is closer than ever to recording a dominant season and bringing the MacTier Cup home to the Prairies.
The 2012 Prairie Wolf Pack Roster Forwards Ryan Ackerman (Burnaby Lake) Regina, SK John Anderson (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, AB Hubert Buydens (Saskatoon Wild Oats) Saskatoon, SK Andrew Cho (Calgary Irish) Calgary, AB Nanyak Dala (Castaway Wanderers) Saskatoon, SK Brennan Daku (Regina Campion Grads) Regina, SK Scott Franklin (Castaway Wanderers) Regina, SK Tyler Hawes (Calgary Canucks) Jumping Pound, AB Eric Lopatinsky (Calgary Hornets) Victoria, BC Dustin Luther (Regina Campion Grads) Regina, SK Spence Massiah (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, AB Clayton Panga (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, AB Bruno Payette (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, AB Aaron Peace (Calgary Canucks) Calgary, AB David Thom (Calgary Canucks) Calgary, AB Andrew Tiedemann (St. Albert RFC) St. Albert, AB
Backs Nicholas Blevins (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, AB Adam Bontus (St. Albert RFC) St. Albert, AB James Buchanan (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, AB Graham Dibden (Edmonton Clansmen) Edmonton, AB Jeff Hassler (Calgary Hornets) Okotoks, AB Brennan Marcoux (Saskatoon Wild Oats) Saskatoon, SK Dustin McPherson (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, AB Gordon McRorie (Calgary Hornets) Calgary, AB Jake Robinson (St Albert RFC) St. Albert, AB Mozac Samson (Calgary Saints) Calgary, AB Sitveni Nacoko (Calgary Irish) Calgary, AB Ian Shoults (Calgary Irish) Calgary, AB Evan Thomas (Lep/Tigers) Edmonton, AB Christian Wolff (Calgary Saints) Calgary, AB
Under 20 Josh Hart Minitonas, MB Adam McQueen Canmore, AB Darcy Ralph Calgary, AB Casey Reed Airdrie, AB Thomas Roche Winnipeg, MB Monty Tichkowsky Lloydminister, SK