Rugby gears up for start of new season

Terrace’s Northmen are getting ready for a season filled with travelling to tournaments, games, practices, fun and camaraderie.

Terrace Northmen players practise for their upcoming season. Evan van Dyk

Terrace’s Northmen are getting ready for a season filled with travelling to tournaments, games,  practices, fun and camaraderie.

The local rugby team, which is open for anyone over the age of 18 who wants to join — both men and women — has started to hit the field outdoors to practise for the first tournament of its season.

“We’re about 20 strong,” said co-coach Mike Homeniuk, who is newly sharing the role this year with Jarryd Kurisu.

May long weekend will see the team travelling to Edmonton for three days to take part in Edmonton Rugby Fest. With two tiers of competition, the team will be competing in the social bracket as opposed to the elite.

“The social side is … guys who just want to go out and tear it up,” said Adam Linteris, who is on his fourth season playing with the team. “I don’t think I’ve played a sport where there is as much camaraderie as there is in rugby, everyone’s just a great big family out there. It’s super fun.”

The Terrace team is made up of players from all skill levels, from those who have played at high levels to those who are out to have a good time, he said.

“Everybody’s welcome,” he said. “If you come out and you enjoy the sport, then come out and play.”

The team plans to travel outside the region for at least three of its tournaments this year: Rugby Fest in Edmonton on May long weekend, the Purple Haze tournament in Kamloops on the third weekend of August, and a mystery tournament where only the coaches know the location.

“We bring some money and some clothes and jump on a bus and go,” said Linteris.

Homeniuk said it is only he and a few others who know where the team will end up, adding the team will be also playing in Prince Rupert, and possibly in Prince George in October. They will also host their own tourney here during Riverboat Days, he said.  Aside from tournaments, games to be played haven’t been scheduled officially yet.

There are a few things that make the team stand out from others, said Homeniuk.

“Usually your forwards are slow, (but) we’ve got a light but powerful and fast forward pack,” he said. “Our backs, we’ve got a lot of diversity. We actually have a very talented team.”

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