Thunder hopefuls making noise during rugby tryouts

The Niagara Rugby Thunder will play an exhibition match on Sunday, in preparation for the 2007 Rugby Canada Super League.

Sean Windsor, from Stoney Creek and McMaster University, gets tackled by prop Matt Lindsay. (Photo: Ron Bernardo)
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The team, which generally draws players from the Niagara Rugby Union (including Hamilton, Burlington, Stoney Creek, and Oakville) has been holding tryouts the past couple of weekends. Several players from McMaster University and Mohawk College were also present as were players from Toronto Scottish, Brampton, Brantford and London.

The Thunder played a Gold and Green intra-squad game recently with 55 hopefuls toughing it out.

To give candidates equal playing time to display their skills, the coaching staff used three, 25 minute periods with the coaches mixing up the combinations. Some very promising players emerged making the selection process very challenging for the coaching staff, said club president Dave Burnett.

Head coach Jeff Prince was encouraged by the turn-out and performance so early in the season.

The coaches will now reduce the numbers to a long list of around 40 and then select 25 to play in Sunday’s exhibition game. The exhibition will be against Ontario’s top club, the Irish Canadians, in Brantford at 2:00pm.

The squad will be reduced to 34 by the end of April and then 25 will be selected to prepare for the first league games against Fredericton and Halifax over the Victoria Day weekend, both played in the Maritimes.