BYU visits the Northwest for a three-day, three-game series starting Thursday.
It’s going to be a week where the Cougars test their depth and see which young players and which players returning from religious mission are ready to play.
“Players who go on Mission normally don’t do anything athletic; they certainly aren’t playing rugby,” BYU Head Coach David Smyth said earlier this winter. “So it takes as much as a year for them to get back to top form. However, we are returning some good players – players who helped win the 2009 National Championship – so that will help us.”
Paul Lasike and Austin Allred lead that group.
Meanwhile, now is the time for players who came back from Mission in 2011 to take a big step forward. Key among those will be former USA U19 center Hoseki Kofe, who should be an imposing figure in the midfield.
The Cougars will play Central Washington, the University of Washington, and Old Puget Sound Beach on consecutive days. CWU Head Coach Bob Ford is looking forward to the gamer, even though his team’s trainings have been limited by heavy snows that blanketed the state of Washington last week.
“This will be a good opportunity for us to cement our forward pack and identify which players will be key performers for us this season,” Ford said. “We’ve been concentrating on 7s lately, so this will give us some momentum going into the 15s season.”
CWU played and lost two University of British Columbia two weekends ago. They had a game scheduled on Saturday, also, but that was snowed out.
“UBC and BYU are two tough games that will do a lot to test us and help us develop our team, our culture, and our identity,” Ford said.
BYU takes on CWU at 1pm Thursday at Magnusson Park in Seattle. Check back with RUGBYMag.com for a full report.