NEW GLASGOW – Five Pictou County rugby players will be representing the province at the upcoming Eastern Canadian and national championships.
Jessica Deagle is the lone female from the county to be named to Nova Scotia’s U-18 squad. After only two years playing the sport with the Northumberland Nighthawks, she said it was a little shocking when she was named to the roster.
“I was pretty happy, especially being the only one from here,” she said. “I was kind of impressed and surprised that I’ll get this opportunity to play after only two years.”
This summer she has joined the Pictou County Rugby Club’s women’s team after graduating from NRHS and plans on joining UNB’s club team in the fall when she attends university.
Although feet aren’t a huge part of the game of rugby, that’s why she got her start. Northumberland needed a kicker at the time and having played soccer for a number of years she was asked to give it a try.
“I really enjoy it,” said Deagle. “It’s rough, but it has strict rules and has lots of action.”
On the boys side four representatives from the county made the final cut. Jared and Cole Livingstone, Noah Delorey and Carson Dunbar are all from the North Nova boy’s team.
Cole played for three years, while Dunbar just finished his second season. Delorey and Jared have only played for one season at the high school level.
“I don’t think we were too surprised when we made the team,” said Dunbar, after admitting tryouts were tough. “I feel we had a good (NSSAF) provincials and saw some of the best players in the province. We knew we could compete with them, so we knew there was a good chance.”
This is the first year on a provincial team for all but Cole, who played his first year on the U-18 team last season.
“You definitely realize the level of intensity is higher and it’s a lot faster playing with people that already know the game so well,” he said.
Thursday the Eastern Canadian tournament got underway in P.E.I. It continues through to Sunday. The National Championship Festival will be held Aug. 4-10 in Calgary, Alta.
“Our goal this weekend is to work well together as a team because we haven’t really played together,” said Dunbar.
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