connorbyron abbynewsYale grad named to Team Canada U19 rugby squad

Ben Lypka - Abbotsford NewsMar. 19, 2018 7:00 am

An Abbotsford rugby product is set to make a trip across the pond next week.

Yale Secondary grad Connor Byron heads to Ireland from March 20 to April 6 as part of the Canada men’s U19 32-man roster.

Byron toured Ireland with the B.C. U18 team in August, and was invited by Team Canada U19 head coach Dean Murten to try out in Vancouver for the team in mid-February. Days later, he was named to the team.

 Byron graduated from Yale in 2017, and was a key fixture in the Lions rugby program during his time there.

He captained the team while there, and also helped the Lions win a provincial title in 2016 and a second-place finish in 2017.

He has since moved on to the UBC Thunderbirds U23 rugby team, where he has been playing since September.

Byron and the U19 Canadian team play five games in 17 days in Ireland, starting with games against the Ireland U18 team on March 24 and 28.

Canada then takes on Leinster U18 Academy on March 30, Ulster U18 Academy on April 2 and Munster U18 Academy on April 5.

Murten said it should be a good test for the team.

“The goal for the tour is to perform to the best of our ability, expose the players to international and high-performance rugby, whilst having fun,” he stated in a press release.

“At this age it’s not all about winning, but we do expect to be very competitive and have a good solid 80-minute performance in the first two games against Ireland.

“This will lay the foundation to get a few good results against the other three provincial teams. Ultimately, I want players returning from the tour having learned a lot about what’s required to play international rugby, learned more about themselves, and made them hungry for more top-level rugby.”

For more on the team and the trip, visit rugby.ca.