Thunder face formidable foe in rugby exhibition


On Thursday (May 29), the Niagara Thunder Rugby club will welcome the Leicestershire Rugby Union. The visitors from England and the Thunder (of the Rugby Canada Super League) will play an exhibition game at the Burlington Rugby Club (Sherwood Forest Park) in Burlington. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.

Leicestershire, narrowly beaten last Saturday by Hampshire in the County Championship Plate final, will be looking to rebuild their confidence. Players for the team are primarily drawn from England’s divisions 1, 2, and 3 teams with professional, semi-pro and amateur players.

“This will be a great litmus test for the team,” said Thunder’s coach Gary Whitley. “We have a couple of league games ahead of us and a particularly tough one in Newfoundland”.

This season is very compact and this month has been really challenging for Thunder players. Three league games have already been completed and the Thunder started with a stutter, being held to a draw by the Quebec Caribou. The team did regain some of last year’s form with decisive wins over the Keltics and Black Spruce and it is hoped they will continue this improvement against the Leicestershire team.

Leicestershire brings a team with considerable experience and the benefit of coming off a full season of rugby. The visitors will, however, also be challenged as they will be playing three games during the week with matches scheduled against Balmy Beach on Tuesday and an Ontario XV on Saturday. Several Thunder players will also be doing double duty as they turn out for that Ontario XV on Saturday.

The Thunder team has no less than 10 players living locally and several are also either current or alumni McMaster University players:

Entry at the gate is $10.00 or by season ticket. High school students and under enter free.

For more information, visit the Thunder website www.niagarathunderrugby.com or call 905-336-9545