Oak Bay Barbarians rugby player Lachlan Kratz has been selected for the men’s under-18 team to represent Canada at the Youth Olympic Games Rugby Americas North Regional Qualifiers in Las Vegas in early March.
They will be facing off against Jamaica, Barbados and the U.S., with the winning team earning a spot at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina in October.
Kratz, with athletes Jarvis Dashkewytch and Reece Tudor-Jones are the B.C representatives on the team, joining one player from Alberta and eight from Ontario. All three B.C. boys were also part of the men’s squad in the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games in Bahamas.
“Us and the States are pretty equal I would say in the youth division,” said Kratz. “We’re not sure about Barbados and Jamaica but we’re definitely bringing our A game every game and giving it our all.”
Kratz gives credit to Oak Bay High’s strong rugby program.
“Oak Bay is a great rugby school. I always wanted to come here and follow in the footsteps of the rugby guys who have gone here before,” said Kratz. A great current example being Phil Mack, Oak Bay High alumnus who was recently chosen to lead Canada’s team as captain.
“Lachlan joins a long line of Oak Bay players that have gone on to representative levels,” said coach Peter Atkinson. “He is truly deserving of it. He’s very athletic, very strong and very dedicated to his sport. He’ll be a credit to all of us for sure.”
Kratz will be sporting a #6 jersey in Las Vegas.
“I’m very excited. It’s an amazing feeling putting on that maple leaf and playing for your country,” said Kratz who has played on Youth Sevens teams for Canada twice before.
“This is a pretty good strong crop we’ve got this year,” said Atkinson. “We’ve got several others who have been playing for BC. We’ve got probably 7 or 8 that have played provincially and 4 or 5 who have played nationally as well.”
The Youth Olympic Games Rugby Americas North Regional Qualifiers are in Las Vegas from March 1-3.