The Queen’s Gaels first place regular season finish earns them three major awards and six all-star spots, as Ontario University Athletics announces the 2009 men’s rugby major award winners and all-stars. The OUA major award winners are presented by Gilbert Canada.
The league’s leading scorer, Ryan Kruyne (Dunrobin), is the 2009 most valuable player and one of six Gaels to garner all-star status. The fourth-year centre made three tries and 30 converts for 99 points in the regular season, giving him a 15-point advantage over the second-highest scorer.
Rookie of the year honours go to Liam Underwood (Toronto) of the Gaels. The first-year player was the second-highest scoring Gael this season with six tries and six converts for 42 points. After his first varsity season, Underwood has proven his offensive abilities and skills and established himself as a strong leader.
Tom Clancy (Lindsay) of the Brock Badgers receives the most all-around player award, as well as all-star recognition. The fifth-year 8 man, who scored two tries for 10 points, is the Badgers captain and has taken a great leadership role, both on and off the field. He is a strong defender and is able to motivate his teammates. Clancy also organizes team dinners and functions.
Having finished first for the second year in a row, Queen’s head coach Peter Huigenbos is the coach of the year. Under his direction, Huigenbos led the Gaels to an 8-0-0 undefeated season.
Kruyne and Underwood are joined on the all-stars team by teammates Patrick Richardson (Vancouver), Tim Richardson (Vancouver), Graeme Dibden (Edmonton) and Chris Barrett (Vancouver). This marks the third appearance of the Richardson twin brothers on the all-star list, the second for Dibden and the first for rookie Underwood and Barrett.
The Western Mustangs have five players receiving all-star recognition, including two-time most all-around player Dave Jacks (Tottenham). Jacks has been named an all-star every season in his four-year OUA rugby career.
Mustangs Conor Trainor (Vancouver), Andrew Crow (Victoria), Rory Tomlinson (Allison) and Gareth Dyer (West Vancouver, B.C.) also make the list as all-stars. All are second-year players and all are making their first all-star appearances.
Brock’s Rory McDonell (Brantford) gets an all-star nod this year after finishing second in OUA scoring with 74 points. McDonell, the 2007 rookie of the year, scored 25 converts in seven games to lead the team in points. The third-year fullback has been an all-star every year since his rookie season.
Other Badgers receiving all-star status are Andrew Cowper (Uxbridge), Hugh McDonell (Brantford) and Sam Rimmer (Cheltenham, England).
McMaster’s Kevin Noble (Dundas) receives all-star recognition for the second time in his OUA rugby career, after scoring a team-high 30 points on six tries in six games. Noble’s teammates, Andrew Lombard (Oakville), Mike Sheppard (Brampton) and Sam Roberts (Oshawa), also make the all-star team.
Wilfrid Laurier’s top scorer, James Stewart (Mississauga), is an all-star for the first time, along with Golden Hawks Jeff Pickel (St. Marys), Alex St. John (Kitchener) and Spencer Houlihan (Sarnia).
Waterloo Warriors Luke Demeter (Alymer), Richard Lebel (Waterloo) and Marc Sweeney (Enfield, N.S.) each earn an all-star nod this year, while Royal Military College’s Kyle Harbottle (Cochrane, Alta.), Riley Saliken (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Brandon Black (Newmarket) also earn recognition. Guelph Gryphons Scott Beukeboom (Lindsay) and C. Leonard (Toronto), and Toronto Varsity Blues Rob Cerps (Scarborough) and Dave Lawrence (Toronto) round out the all-star list.