The Pacific Northwest (PNW) U23s are making their first appearance of the 2023-24 rugby season. On Saturday, Nov. 11, the select side program is taking on the Vancouver Thunderbirds inside Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash. The 2:30 p.m. PT match is a curtain-raiser for the Women’s Premier League (WPL) All-Stars vs. Te Tai Tokerau Natives game at 5 p.m.
“We’re very excited to continue the growth and development of our players on the PNW Pathway, and providing high-level competition and training environments is crucial to their growth,” PNW Women’s Program Director Heidi Whitman enthused. “With some excellent teams joining us for this celebration of womxn in rugby, this is going to be an event you won’t want to miss! Thank you to WPL, Vancouver Thunderbirds, and Te Tai Tokerau Natives!”
During Canada’s regular season, the Thunderbirds compete as University of British Columbia (UBC). Per Whitman, it’s the closest thing to a U23 team since the Canadian age grades end at U19.
The PNW U23s have named 28 players to the roster. The Univ. Oregon leads selections with eight players, while Western Washington follows with seven. Collegians from Univ. Washington (5), Oregon State (2) and Boise State (1) are also represented. Seattle (3), Las Vegas (1) and Portland (1) have sent players from the senior club ranks. The coaching staff comprises Whitman, Willeo Bloomfield, Liz Osborn and Ashley Kmiecik.
To learn more about game day and the community events that will surround the WPL All-Star game, follow @wpl.rugby on Instagram.