A born and raised Pentictonite is representing Canada on the international stage this week in Guelph, Ont.
Sol Jacques, a rugby player at the University of British Columbia and graduate of Penticton Secondary, has been selected for Team Canada at an upcoming men’s international U20 tournament.
Set for competition against Uruguay, Zimbabwe and Chile, the boys in red and white will suit up for their first game on Aug. 13, with Jacques among those scheduled to make their debut on the national stage.
“It’s always been a dream of mine,” Jacques said about representing Canada. “When I started playing rugby in Penticton in Grade 7, it’s something I definitely thought about one day doing. I’m representing Canada, but I’m especially representing B.C. and most importantly, the Okanagan and Penticton.”
The three-game tournament, hosted by Rugby Canada and the University of Guelph from Aug. 13 to 23, is an important stepping stone for upcoming World Cup competitions.
Officially known as Conference Canada 2022, the event is also considered a showcase for some of the country’s brightest, young stars.
“This tournament will provide much-needed game time for our U20s program in a competitive environment,” said Dustin Hopkins, the managing director of rugby operations at the governing body.
Representing Penticton isn’t something Jacques takes lightly. He explained to Black Press his disappointment when Rugby Canada mistakenly listed on its website that he’s from Kelowna.
The error, though, hasn’t fazed Jacques in his commitment to proudly wear the Peach City on his sleeves during his time in Ontario.
“I always think about all the teams I used to play for back home as well, the coaches I’ve had and my family,” he said. “It’s about representing them, too.”
Canada kicks off its journey against Zimbabwe on Aug. 13, before battling Chile and Uruguay in succession on Aug. 18 and 23, respectively.
Jacques is among the youngest players on the team and the only one from the Okanagan, as he fights for playing time on a roster that includes seven other British Columbians.