Saskatchewan Rugby is excited to announce a new partnership has been signed with Rugby Manitoba.
The Provincial Unions across Canada unanimously decided that the U18 National Championships format would go back to being provincial team based. In 2017, the Sask Rugby and Rugby Manitoba will join forces and form elite U18 Boys’ and Girls’ 15s Teams that will step up and strongly represent the prairies at the Canadian Rugby U18 Championships. A combined effort will also take place in the U16 Men’s Division unless both Provinces have the player base to form their own squads. And we are requesting to Rugby Canada the application into the U19 Men Canadian Rugby Championship as well. The team staff for each program will be balanced by each Province through a joint application process. The U20 Women and Senior Women programs we hope will remain as Wolf Pack programs between Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The aim is to provide an elite and competitive experience that supports the development of top talent at a critical stage of athlete development. We recognize that for each of our provinces to be successful with advancing our players into National Programs, that we must be lifting the standard and therefore providing the competitive experiences to support Saskatchewan and Manitoba players along the pathway
Rugby Manitoba and Sask Rugby are now working to coordinate team staff selection and finalize the budget, and we will be publishing the new Teams Selection Policy that shall clearly outline the process and criteria for selection to the Saskatchewan and Manitoba U16, U18 and U19 Teams.
We will also be running a ‘Name Your Team Contest’ to help bring identity to this new Prairies team that will represent Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This contest will launch Dec. 29th, 2016 with an end date of January, 31st. With an announcement of the new team name being declared at the start of February, 2017 alongside the announcement of our new coaching staff for those programs.
The new agreement also supports both referee development with increased emphasis on exchanges. In addition, competition structures have also expanded between the two provinces. The Man Sask Regionals annual tournament will now include U14 Boys and Senior Women Divisions.
If there are any questions please feel free to contact our offices directly and we will be happy to discuss these changes further. We believe this is the right step for both our Provinces in terms of athlete development and growth of our game in our respective provinces. We’ve seen a large increase in youth support of the games over the last few years and we look to continue to develop and grow our game as we transition into this new agreement and partnership between our Provinces.