ST. GEORGE — After starting the 2013 season with a 3-0 record against fellow college teams the BYU Cougars turn their attention towards the Old Puget Sound Beach men’s rugby club.
The Cougars and OPSB are set to square off today at 1:30 p.m. MT at Snow Canyon High School’s rugby field.
OPSB finished the 2012 men’s season as runners-up losing a hotly contested championship game against New York Athletic Club by the score of 32-29. And with a new head coach and former Irish International Justin Fitzpatrick leading their 2013 Men’s Elite Cup campaign OPSB has high expectations for this season.
“We were a let down with how the season ended last year,” said BYU Alum and USA Eagles player Alipate Tuilevuka about OPSB’s 2012 men’s division championship loss. “But we have a lot of the guys returning and we expect to be right back in the hunt again this year. And this game against BYU is a good way for us to start our season.”
Tuilevuka leads a backline that enlists the talents dual sevens and internationals Mike Palefau (Eagles), Miles Craigwell (Eagles) and William Rasileka (Fiji).
The OPSB forward pack also includes a couple of Eagles in Matt Trouville and Andrew Durutalo.
“This will be a very good test for us,” said BYU head coach David Smyth. “OPSB is one of the top men’s clubs in the country. And having played them last year and knowing what we can expect this year, it’s going to be a game that will stretch our team, especially our young players who will be new to level, and give us a chance to really see what we’re made of. We’re very much looking forward to the challenge.”
The BYU second XV will also take on Dixie State College immediately following the OPSB match.