Article by Barbara Mervin

Amanda Thornborough is making history. This along with a roster of current and former international players from England, France, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and Canada have been invited to partake in the first ever Barbarians Women’s match against Munster at Thomond Park in Limerick Ireland on Friday, November 10th.

A brief history lesson for those who do not know: Barbarians RFC (or the Baa-Baas) is a famous invitational travelling rugby team based out of the UK that was founded in 1890. In order to be selected a player must demonstrate a high standard of play and exhibit the integrity and sportsmanship that rugby embodies–Making Amanda Thornborough a perfect choice. Blending the different styles of so many international teams produces a unique style of rugby that is unmatched anywhere else the world. The dynamic style of play will be aptly matched with Amanda’s quick thinking and even quicker feet.

The Barbarians are classically outfitted in a traditional black and white striped jersey with a Barbarian insignia on the left chest. An interesting feature of the kit due to it being a travelling team with no home base is that each player wears the socks from their own home club, with Amanda. We are very excited that our APTOELLA girl will be taking a little piece of us with her as she along with the rest of those fabulous rugby players embarks on an adventure of a lifetime.

The introduction of this inaugural women’s side speaks to the growth of the women’s game and the demand for quality games following the high caliber of the Women’s World Cup in Ireland. This movement is bridging the gap between the men and women’s game and is developing a rugby community that is supportive of the sport regardless of the gender of the player. The Barbarians club has always tried to personify the incomparably inclusive and good-hearted culture of rugby and what better way to do that than after 127 years giving the women their chance in the legendary jersey.

Amanda is a great addition to the team with two World Cups under her belt, she has represented her country 23 times for XV’s, four times for the Seven aside game, and seven international tries all together. She helped the Canadian team achieve their best finish at the 2014 World Cup with a silver medal and a fifth place finish at the 2017 Word Cup that just wrapped up in August. The 5’5 center is an absolute powerhouse in the contact area, she sees the game extremely well and shows acute tactical leadership on whatever part of the pitch she finds herself. Anyone who has ever shared a pitch with Amanda, whether it is with or against her, can attest to her unwavering work ethic and commitment to her teammates. Amanda will be joined on this famous Barbarian squad by Canada’s XV’s Captain Kelly Russell.

Full article at  

Westshore RFC Junior Girls Win Kamloops 7’s Tournement

This weekend our Westshore Junior Women were in Kamloops for the Kamloops Rugby Sevens Tournament coordinated by BC Rugby. Its one of the largest tournaments of its kind for junior rugby spread across three venues. We sent 10 of our junior women in varied age grades to play on combined teams. U18 Women Elite, U16 Women Elite and U14 Women.

Results from Kamloops:
U14s – South Island Team 1 – 1st
U14s – South Island Team 2 – 3rd (4 Westshore athletes)
U16s – 8th Place (3 Westshore athletes)
U18s – 2nd Place (3 Westshore athletes)

Our Junior Women are coached by Brittany Sims and Cory Walker and managed by Kerri Cook. The continued development of our junior women’s program depends on a strong management staff, athletes getting as much playing time as possible through a competitive schedule and ensuring these young ladies are having fun along the way. Keep up the great work ladies throughout the rest of the season!


Shannon Houston was born in Victoria in the 80’s and a graduate of Glen Lyon School in the late 90’s. She played for the Velox Valkyries from 1998-2001, before shifting to UVIC from 2001-2003 as she worked on her undergrad degree in Biology. During these years Shannon made the Crimson Tide and BC Provincial teams demonstrating her ability to play at the higher levels. She has duel citizen ship: both Canada and Irish due to her Grandparents from Cork Ireland. This assisted her move to Ireland in 2004 not just to retrace her family’s heritage, but to go to medical school to earn her medical degree from the University College in Dublin. Upon arriving in Ireland in 2004 she played for Blackrock RFC before joining Leinster RFC as her club where she played until 2013. Demonstrating she was very capable of international action Shannon debuted in 2006 for her 1st cap at Women’s World Cup 15’s for Ireland verses France, in Edmonton Canada. She continued on to earn 32 caps for Ireland playing 15’s from 2006-2013. In 2009 Shannon earned her Medical Degree and worked as a physician in Navan, Ireland. She balanced surgical rotations as an intern with 100+ hours a week, while training for the national Irish team, displaying her drive for both work and play. Once certified as a doctor, she would work in the clinic in mornings, and train in afternoons with national 7’s teams assisting Ireland’s Rio Olympics bid. During this time she participated in weight lifting competitions in Ireland while also competing on national teams for rugby. She spent the last 3 years from 2013-2016 playing 7’s for Irelands National team. An essential team member for the Irish 7’s winning Quarter finals in RWC 7’s in Moscow in Jun 2013, she continued as the Captain for the team during the Dubai 7’s as she continued over the next 2 years. Coming full circle, she finished her playing career on the Irish 7’s team at Canada 7’s World Rugby Women’s Sevens in Victoria in Apr 16 at 36 years old!!! She retired from the playing circuit due to a neck injury that prevented her from lacing up again. Shannon moved back to Victoria in the fall of 2016 to join her brother as GP Doctors taking over their Fathers family practice in Dec 16. She joined Westshore Velox RFC shortly thereafter and assisted with the women’s program as an assistant coach from Feb-May 2017. Shannon was also the Team Doctor for Canada’s NSWT for 2017 RWC in Ireland in Aug, her 2 homes combining interests once again.

When Shannon was asked in an interview a few years back “What her favorite part of playing rugby was, her response was: “There are probably 2 main reasons why I love this game so much. The 1st is the challenge of it every game you have to push yourself mentally and physically, and the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. You have to go beyond your comfort zone and really test yourself. It’s so different from other sports you could get by in a soccer or basketball match without really ever committing yourself. But in rugby you have to commit 100% or you are not going to put your whole body on the line to make every tackle or break through each gap. When the whistle blows at the end of the match, and you are completely exhausted because you have managed to leave everything on the field, you know you have pushed your limits and have truly tested yourself. The 2nd reason is the friends I have made through this sport. I have met so many amazing people playing both in Canada and in Ireland.”

Westshore RFC is truly lucky and honoured to have such an established and capable leader re-join our team, to once again come full circle back to where she started as she officially took over the reigns as Westshore Velox RFC Women’s Head Coach for the 2017/2018 season!!

Shannon playing for Ireland Nation Women’s Team

Shannon playing for Ireland Nation Women’s Team

Shannon playing for Ireland Nation Women’s Team

Shannon playing for Leinster RFC

Shannon on Canadian NSWT as Team Doctor for RWC 17


4 Westshore RFC members represent Canada in APC in Uruaguy

Westshore would like to congratulate 4 of our members selected to once again represent Canada's Men's team in APC Rugby action in Uruguay, South America. Players Ryan Kotlewski-Prop​, Eric Howard-Hooker​, Andrew Ferguson​-#9 and Mike Michael Shelley​ as Head Coach. Good luck to all!!

Canada faces Argentina 7 Oct, Tonga 11 Oct and USA Selects 15 Oct.

Hooker Eric Howard throwing in for a Lineout

Prop Ryan Kotlewski closing to ruck over Hooker Eric Howard with ball.

#9 Andrew Ferguson sprinting for a try.

Prop Ryan Kotlewski joining ruck, with #9 Andrew Ferguson directing play

Hooker Eric Howard settling in for scrum set piece

Rugby Canada Head Coach Mike Shelley


Registration is now a 5 min quick 5 step process. Use the following link to start your registration:

all players need to be registered before being eligible to play in their 1st game. All Club Dues for senior players are to be paid by 01 Oct 17. Jay Jimmo is the Club Registrar, with Terri Foggitt assisting for Youth/Junior.

Here are the Club Dues/Registration fees:
• Senior Players-Full: $115.06 (registration-online)/$350 (Club Dues to Jay Jimmo)
• Senior Players-Students: $115.06 (registration-online)/$300 (Club Dues to Jay Jimmo)
• Senior Players-Half season: $115.06 (registration-online)/$200 (Club Dues to Jay Jimmo)
• Temp Visitor pass: $74.28 (registration-online)
• Junior Players: $357.18 (Registration and club dues together – online)
• Youth Players: $207.98 ((Registration and club dues together – online)
• Social Membership: $100 (registration-online)

Following Members Registration will be reimbursed by the club.

• All Coaches: $115.06 (registration-online/No Club Dues added)
• Team managers: $40.20 (registration-online/No Club Dues added)
• Medical staff/trainers: $40.20 (registration-online/No Club Dues added)
• BOD members: $0 (registration-online/No Club Dues added)
• Referees: $115.06 (registration-online/No Club Dues added)

• For senior players kit is $45 for socks/shorts (with logo)/warm up shirt: a $75 value which every player will be required to have (same look and items as last year).

• For Youth /Junior players kit is $45 for socks/shorts (with logo)/2x warm up shirt: again a $75 value which every player will be required to have (same look and items as last year).

• Contact Clay Panga for clothing.




Westshore RFC logo

Westshore RFC: Player & Program Sponsor Drive!

The Westshore Rugby Football club is preparing for the 2017/18 rugby season and is looking for community support! Westshore RFC has existed for nearly fifty years, the last two in the Westshore being housed at the Westshore Parks and Recreation grounds and field – house. The Westshore Rugby club is one of the largest clubs in BC, fielding teams in the Youth (U6-U12), Junior (U14 –U20), Men (U20, Thirds, Premier and Premier Reserve) and Woman (Premier and Seconds)! Men and woman are entering in the yearlong BCRU premier league from September 9th, 2017 through to May 5th, 2018. This will be the top rugby league in all of Canada. The Westshore woman will be doing so as BCRU undefeated provincial champs!
Westshore RFC is looking for 50 sponsors to sponsor their premier men and woman teams for $500 each! This will pair each sponsor with each of the 22 players on the men and woman premier team. Your sponsorship dollar will go directly towards the innumerable operating costs of running such a comprehensive rugby program. Some will also directly benefit the player (s) through a subsidization of their annual playing dues ($500).
We plan on a “Sponsor the Player Night” to kick-start our season 7:00 PM THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 7TH. Here, we will recognize all our sponsors and randomly draw and match our sponsors and Westshore players!
Your sponsorship will be recognized in our
• Professionally created game day program (100 copies): printed up to 15 times a year,
• A four by one foot sign with your company logo to be displayed at all Westshore home games,
• Once a year, your business will be spotlighted as “A Sponsor of the Day” and we invite you and your staff to join us and watch the game!
• Recognition on our webpage and social media, pages
• Two season passes to all Westshore RFC games ($225 value)
If interested, please make all cheques payable to Westshore RFC. Please contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for your consideration.
CC: John Lyall 250-217-9031 / Kelly Hanvey 250-686-2484 / Dave Phillips 778-587-7999
Westshore R.F.C. is committed to building excellence on and off the field.


Westshore/Velox RFC member Niu Savea and his lovely wife Tina have started a new company- Chahoo Threads. In Samoan culture CHAHOO is yelled at celebrations, weddings, etc.. This company is a family run business showing Tina’s Saulteaux/Cree First nations and Niu’s Samoan cultures combining into a multi cultural symbol (That Tina designed). These soft cotton T-shirts are $29.95, which would make great gifts for Canada Day coming up. With other items such as hoodies and shirts in various sizes and colours. Check out their Face Book page at

13 Westshore Players selected for Crimson Tide Rep Team

Westshore is extremely proud of its 13 WS RFC players making selections for both Men’s and Women’s teams for VIRU all star rep teams. With a big congratulations to the Women’s team winning the Cup for the 4th season in a row with a sound win over the Vancouver Wave rep team twice in as many weeks. The Men’s team beat the North island Tsunami last week, only to loss unfortunately to the Vancouver Tyee Team in Vancouver.

*denotes starting position

Men’s Tide:

  • Jordan Tait *
  • Jay Jimmo
  • Jason Gagnier
  • Tua Vaa
  • Manager John Lyall

Women’s Tide:

  • Brittany Sims*
  • Rosie Lang*
  • Shannon Fitzpatrick*
  • Courtney Sims*
  • Meg Howat (Team Captain)*
  • Amanda Thornborough *
  • Melissa Sims
  • Tanya Jones
  • Angela Thompson
  • Coach Clay Panga


7 Westshore RFC Women Valkyries selected to RC NSWT

Westshore RFC has 7 Valkyries selected to Rugby Canada’s NSWT for the upcoming International Women’s Rugby Series in New Zealand in June.  Canada Women are presently ranked 3rd in the world, will face off against NZ on 9 June in Wellington, England on 13th June in Christ Church, and Australia on 17th June in Rotorua.

Congratulations to:

  • Amanda Thornborough
  • Chelsey Minter
  • Brianna Miller
  • Barbara Mervin
  • Latoya Blackwood
  • Emily Belchos, and
  • Elissa Alarie