BERKELEY – Tasked to create different lineups against two good teams in the space of four days, the Golden Bears will dial up a Starting XV peppered with youth to face Santa Clara on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. under the lights on Witter Rugby Field.
California (8-0) is coming off a win Saturday at home in the “World Cup” opener over British Columbia, while the Broncos (4-0), coach by Paul Keeler, defeated UC Davis the same day on their home pitch. Santa Clara has also beaten San Diego State and Stanford so far this spring.
For the Bears, freshmen Wade Ogburn and Edward Tandy will start in the forwards at No. 2 and No. 8, respectively, while fellow first-years Jamie Howells and Billy Maggs will form the starting No. 10-12 combination. Sophomore Patrick Barrientes will captain the side from his outside center position with two more second-year players, Christian Hess at one wing and Anthony Salaber at fullback, in the backline. Almost the entire replacement ranks are comprised of freshmen and sophomores as well.
In the last meeting between Cal and Santa Clara, on Jan. 23, 2013, then-sophomore Eakalafi Okusi scored three of the Bears’ 13 tries as a lineup of virtually all first- and second-year players dispatched the Broncos in an 81-0 win. That match was the first event on Witter Rugby Field for the Bears in 33 months during the renovation of Memorial Stadium.
After Wednesday night’s match, Cal hosts UCLA for Homecoming on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 3 p.m., with live television coverage by Pac-12 Networks as the Bears and Bruins both seek to write wins into the next chapter of their PAC Rugby Conference schedules.