Jawl overcomes size to impress U-20 coaches

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Peter Jawl

JAWL MAKES COACHES' JOWELS TREMBLE. Men's rugby rookie Peter Jawl merges maturity with a phenomenal skill-set to assert himself on the Western rugby pitch and for Team Canada's U-20 international squad.

Following a successful rookie season with the Mustangs, Western rugger Peter Jawl is making waves with Canada’s national U-20 team.

The talented 18-year-old Jawl has been making jaws drop with his incredible kicking, ball handling expertise and superior play vision.

Now, after a dominating performance in his national team debut last month, the fly half is playing to get a spot on the Canadian national team, which will head to the Rugby World Cup U-20 tournament taking place in Wales from June 2-23. A couple of weeks ago, he headed out west to enter the final qualifying training camp.

Jawl faces minor setbacks with his smaller size, needing to get bigger and stronger in order to compete on the international level.

“My size is the first thing coaches notice,” he says. “I just need to play to show coaches what I am actually capable of.”

Former high school coach and U-20 Team Canada assistant coach Ian Hyde-Lay has taken notice. Hyde-Lay emphasized Jawl’s talent and skill-set.

“[His] handling and particularly his kicking skills are far ahead of almost all other rugby players in Canada,” he says.

These skills were evident in Jawl’s U-20 Team Canada debut, when he scored 21 points in a game versus Team USA in February in Lakeland, Florida. His very accurate kicks dismantled the American defence.

“[His] controlled and skilled performance ... puts him in the reckoning for the final 26-man selection,” Hyde-Lay says.

In addition to Jawl’s athleticism, which can be seen every time he walks onto the pitch, Western head coach Tony Roes says Jawl’s locker room presence is extremely important to the team.

“[Jawl’s presence sets] an outstanding example for his teammates in the professional manner he approaches the sport,” Roes says, noting he feels lucky to have a first-year player with such a high degree of knowledge of the sport and such a mature attitude.

Jawl attributes much of his success to a sense of rugby culture within his family, as his father and older brother both played the game.

“It helps a lot to have the friends and family supporting me every step,” he says.

At the national level, Jawl is now surrounded by some of the top players in the country and this will only further develop his skills, level of play and abilities.

The Canadian team is in a challenging pool with England, Australia and Fiji. If all goes well, Jawl will make his presence felt and contribute his skills to further Team Canada in the tournament.

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