Locals athletes’ rugby trip to Ireland dashed

Sports

STELLARTON — Pictou County athletes’ opportunity to play on two Rugby Nova Scotia Under-18 rosters preparing to play matches in Ireland this month has vanished.

Gabby Smith, Brooke Reid and Megan MacKenzie were among players selected on the female side, while the male side was to include coach Bryan Campbell, as well as Reegan MacDonald Tyler Matchem, MacLean Tobin, Jacob Greene and Liam Bethell.

All the athletes but one plays rugby at Northumberland Regional High School. MacDonald plays rugby at North Nova Education Centre.

“I wanted to go,” said MacKenzie, who set up a fundraising booth at the Hector Arena last Friday to help fund her rugby pursuits. “It was disappointing to find out I was not going, all the training and everything we put into it.”

It was decided not to proceed with the trip due to the growing threat being posed by the COVID-19 virus.

MacKenzie is among those holding out hope that the trip can be re-scheduled if circumstances permit.

“We’re not sure if we’re postponed or cancelled,” she said.

Campbell was looking forward to the trip and for the players to gain valuable experience.

“I coached most of the kids in Under-16 last summer, so these are first-year Under-18 players,” he said.

Tobin noted how he was looking forward to the trip and the games.

He said the players practised well at the William Sobey Complex where they have been working out much of the winter, but were missing the contact in game situations that the trip to Ireland would have provided.


Local athletes were selected to represent Nova Scotia on men’s and women’s teams that were scheduled to compete during a tour of Ireland this month. Front row, from left: Gabby Smith, Brooke Reid and Megan MacKenzie. Back row: coach Bryan Campbell, Tyler Matchem, MacLean Tobin, Jacob Greene and Liam Bethell. Missing is Reegan MacDonald. (Goodwin photo)