Rugby club stands test of time

Victoria's Ebb Tide Rugby Club has players in their 70s and 80s in game against visiting Japanese club

Rick Kotzian of the Victoria Ebb Tide Rugby Club goes up for a ball against a visiting team from Japan. The Ebb Tide’s oldest player

Rick Kotzian of the Victoria Ebb Tide Rugby Club goes up for a ball against a visiting team from Japan. The Ebb Tide’s oldest player

Seniors rugby at Windsor

A group of Greater Victoria rugby players are showing the love of the game knows no boundaries.

Age and geography were no barriers to the Ebb Tide Rugby Club as they hosted a visiting team from Japan at Windsor Park last week, with the players aged right into their 80s.

“It’s very much slow-motion rugby,” said the Ebb Tide’s Dave Knox with a laugh. “And we take very good care of our 80-year-olds, so they won’t be flattened.”

The Ebb Tide is made up of players over the age of 40 from throughout Greater Victoria, competing in the Pacific Northwest Over 40’s Rugby Union with teams from the Lower Mainland, Nanaimo, Kelowna and Seattle. The Ebb Tide squared off last week against the Osaka Gentleman, an over-40 team from Japan featuring a pair of 80-year-olds (although they were both nursing injuries and unable to suit up for the match). While the Ebb Tide’s regular roster features players from their 40s into their 70s, they brought out 83-year-old Bryan Holmes for the game at Windsor Park.

“He doesn’t play any more, but he only quit three or four years ago,” said Knox. “He [came] out for this one particular game because there’s a couple of 80-year-olds on the touring team.”

Knox said the players wear different coloured shorts based on the decade they were born in.

“That way you can tell the age of the person on the field if you’re about to tackle him,” said Knox, 63. “So if you’re going to tackle somebody the same age as you, it’s fair game, but if he’s 30 years older than you then you go a bit easier.”

Knox said the Ebb Tide has been going for more than 40 years, making seven or eight trips to Japan during that time and playing host to close to a dozen Japanese teams.

“So it’s been a long-standing tradition,” he said.

The Ebb Tide regularly play their games in James Bay, but as those fields have been converted for baseball, the game was moved to Oak Bay. Knox estimates about a dozen of the team’s 55 regular players are from Oak Bay.

“From now until September we practice every Thursday at Windsor Park, and I use the term practise lightly,” he said.

For more information on the Ebb Tide, visit



Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Victoria police are asking for witnesses who might have information about this tricycle that was stolen in downtown Victoria on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Police seek witnesses after downtown Victoria company’s tricycle stolen

The three-wheeler was taken from the 2100-block of Store Street on Thursday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read