After a two-year hiatus, the Brome Lake Ducks Rugby Football Club men’s rugby team is back in tip-top shape.
Practicing and training together since March, the team is gearing up for a semi-final game on Aug. 6 against its rivals, the Ormstown Saracens.
Bringing the community together for over 30 years, the Brome Lake Ducks men’s rugby team hope to see friendly and familiar faces as they fight for a spot in the provincial second division championship.
“We got a bunch of new kids out there, a bunch of vets also. The beginning of the season was a little rough, but we got a great team going on this year,” said Yann ''Zouk'' Zukrowski, club president.
Zukrowski credits well-known Brome Lake resident Jane Rizora with keeping the team in shape throughout the season with cardio training.
“This year, I’ve been trying to find guys that could help us on different things. We have a real good coach Charlie Brooks, the men’s representative Alex Désourdy, Dave Rumsby helps a lot, and myself, but Jann, yeah, he’s really good for the cardio,” said Zukrowski. “It’s a team effort.”
The team has only suffered one loss throughout the entire 2022 rugby season losing to the Montreal 15s.
“But I think even if we tried to win, the referee wouldn’t have let us,” laughed Zukrowski. “We have 32 players registered, which is amazing for the Brome Lake Ducks. Hopefully we get more, or just as many, next year and on and forward.”
This weekend’s semi-final game will determine who will be going to the 2022 championships. Describing his teammates as “tough cookies,” Zukrowski emphasized that no matter what happens, that everyone worked hard to get to where they are.
“Especially the kids. I’ve been there for a couple of years now, but yes we have worked hard. Every single one of us out on the field has worked very hard to be where they are. I think everybody is excited and looking forward to going to the finals,” he said.
For Zukrowski, the Brome Lake Ducks Rugby Football Club is all about connection and community.
“For me personally, it’s all about family, regrouping, friends. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we practice, it keeps you in shape, out of trouble of course, and Saturday’s are our games. To me personally, it’s just a big family,” mentioned Zukrowski.
Kick-off for this weekend’s semi-final game will be at 1 p.m. at the Knowlton Lion’s Park.
“It’s fun to play against them (Ormstown), they put up a good fight. Everybody is more than welcome, there will be hot dogs, cold beverages. Bring your families, friends, and kids,” said Zukrowski.
Listen to the full interview below: