THE WEST is a sprawling giant. From Winnipeg to Calgary stretches league after league of prairie, with a few cities put down here and there like very small dots on a very large map. Then come the Rockies— magnificent as scenery, but hard for the purses of rugby clubs to buck.
All of which is a preliminary to pointing out that rugby in Western Canada is a matter of courage, off the field as well as on, and that the selection of a Western All-Star team is made difficult by distances since it is well nigh impossible for any one expert to have seen all the teams in action.
To meet this difficulty, the Board of Governors of the Western Canada Rugby Football Union, at Maclean's request, appointed a committee which comprised authorities who between them had observed the play of all the clubs in the Union. This committee included the following members: Jack Bannerman, Calgary: Andy Naismith, Calgary; Dr. Sturdy, Vancouver; Bob Priestley, Winnipeg; and Sax Crossley, Vancouver, president of the Western Canada Rugby Union.
In order to make the fairest jxissible choice the committee also consulted other well-known rugby experts, including M. Lieberman, Edmonton, jiast president of, and Western rejiresentative on, the Canadian Rugby Fixitball Union; and Whit Matthews, Edmonton, a governor of the Western Union. It also took into consideration an all-star selection made by AÍ Ritchie of Regina, one of the most noted football authorities in the West, before it made its own final selection.
The committee grants that in many cases decision as to the merits of individual stars was made on a margin no wider than a razor’s edge. It grants, too, that at any moment after reading its selection someone may rise up and consign it to where all committees ought to be sent. But it has its reasons for the selections it has made, and here they are: For quarterback, Ted Olson of the Regina Rough Riders, this year’s Western champions. This jilayer came to the Rough Riders from Salem in South Dakota, and is rated one of the niftiest throwers of liasses that the West has vet seen.
The Star Halfbacks
[N HALFBACKS, the West is L rich and the choice extremely lifficult. The three players linilly selected represent Winnipeg, Regina and Vancouver respecively. In Russell Rebholtz of he Winnipegs, the West has an ■lusive jilunger and a half whose cicking and running have been lutstanding features this season ind last. He played with Wis:onsin in 1931. Ralph Pierce of :he Regina Rough Riders learned iis rugby at the University of North Dakota, and is ranked as :he fastest man who ever jier ormed on a Regina gridiron. The captain of the Vancouver
Continued on page 42
Nominated by WESTERN CANADA RUGBY UNION SELECTION COMMITTEE Quarterback Olson Regina Rough Riders 195 Halfbacks Rebholtz Winnipeg Winnipegs 170 lbs. Pierce Regina Rough Riders 174 lbs. .Cameron Vancouver Meralomas 165 lbs. Flying Wing Kabat Winnipegs 185 lbs. Snap Lydiard Regina Rough Riders 176 lbs. Inside Wings Park University of Alberta 185 lbs. Kushner Winnipegs 190 lbs. Middle Wings Garvin Vancouver Meralomas 205 lbs. Walker Regina Rough Riders 200 lbs. Outside Wings Adkins Regina Rough Riders 190 lbs. Nicklin Winnipegs 175 lbs. (Alternates) Middle Wing Sprague Regina Rough Riders 190 lbs. Outside Wing Miller Regina Rough Riders 180 lbs.
We Nominate—The All-Western
Continued frotn page 10
Meralomas, Eric Cameron, a convert from British rugby this year, climaxed his fourth season with a splendid display of punting, broken field running, line smashing and ball handling. These three players, the committee considers, have been the outstanding r halves of the year.
For flying wing the Winnipegs contribute Gregory Kabat, who played with Wisconsin in 1932. He is not only an excellent secondary defense man but can kick and plunge as well.
Ted Lydiard, the selection for snapback, is a product of Regina junior and senior rugby. As a junior he played in two Dominion junior finals, and is a standout at centre.
As inside wing, the committee’s choice fell on I>en Park of the University of Alberta, a member of the last All-Star Western intercollegiate team, and Eddie Kushner of the Winnipegs, a native-born product of the Windy City. Both these players can block and open holes in an opposing line with the best. Kushner has been particularly successful this season in blocking kicks.
The Middle Wings
T>ILL GARVIN, the tall, 205-pound T} middle wing of the Vancouver Meralomas, was noted this year both for his defensive play and for nailing the ball carrier on the line of scrimmage and behind it, and merits a well-earned place at middle
wing. For the other middle wing position, the committee selected Bob Walker of the Rough Riders. He hails from Armour in North Dakota, and his aggressiveness, defensive play and quick starting ability win him his place. It was not easy, however, to pass over George Sprague of the Rough Riders who played with Ottawa last year, since he carries the ball well in bucks and has been an outstanding player all season. He is nominated, therefore, as an alternate.
As outside wings the committee selected Steve Adkins of the Rough Riders and Jeff Nicklin of the Winnipegs, with Albert Miller of the Rough Riders as alternate. Adkins is tall and fast and has had an excellent season receiving passes, in many cases snaring them out of the opposition’s hands. Defensively he is a sure tackle. Jeff Nicklin is a graduate of the Deer Lodge Juniors of Winnipeg, last year’s Western junior finalists. He has an outstanding record as a tackier. Miller, who was transferred to Regina by the R.C.M.P., is a sure, hard tackier and, like Adkins, a good receiver of passes.
Such is the galaxy of stars which the committee presents as representing the best in Western Canadian rugby football for 1934. The West may be young in rugby, it may face extraordinary difficulties because of its enormous distances, but the committee is confident that the earnest searcher after rugby brawm and talent need no longer stop east of Lake Superior.
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