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

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



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Owners say loss of parking pushes businesses to the brink

New Penny Farthing patio ‘will be like New Orleans, or Las Vegas’

Greater Victoria housing market sees positive bump in June

Sales up by 76.8 per cent compared to May

Saanich plugs into $100,000 government grant for 20 new EV chargers

Six chargers to be installed at four municipal parks

Saanich woman says sexual assault was dismissed by police because of her ‘body language’

Patrol officers investigate sexual assault files, make decisions on what goes to Crown counsel

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight in Victoria

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway

President Donald Trump said the jobs report shows the economy is “roaring back”

Most Read