STELLARTON — Rugby has begun in earnest for the North Nova Gryphons.
Coaches Dave Delorey and Scott Taylor were busy last Wednesday putting their charges through their paces at the William M. Sobey Indoor Sports Complex as they continue training for the 2018 high school boys’ rugby season that will begin in April.
“We should be pretty strong, “Taylor said. “We have some new players who are joining us. They’re all good athletes, so that makes it easier to train them.”
Workouts have taken place for more than a month.
Rugby team training officially began on February 1, while the Gryphons began practising on February 7.
The Gryphons are trying to improve on their performance of last year when the Northumberland Nighthawks defeated them in the Northumberland Region Division I boys’ final.
Both teams advanced to the provincial championship, where the Gryphons lost their semifinal match to the Sir John A. Macdonald Flames.
“Our strength is in our backs,” Taylor said. “We have a lot of returning backs. We have a good cast of forwards to work with and that’s what we have to work on most right now. We need this time to select our team and master the skills, such as tackling.”
The Gryphons are taking part in an ice-breaker rugby tournament that is scheduled to start on April 6.
An exhibition game with Kings-Edgehill is scheduled after that and before the start of the regular season.
The 2018 Division I boys and girls championships will be played in Capital Region on June 1 and 2 after regional champions have been determined.
North Nova Gryphons players Dylan Williams, left, and Luc Young race each other in a lateral training drill. (Goodwin photo)