Darcy MacRae
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Rock looking for respect after being overlooked by regional side

Members of The Rock celebrate their Rugby Canada Super League championship which they won in St. Johns last summer with a decision over Saskatchewan in the final.Telegram file photo

Pat Parfrey wonders what The Rock has to do to get a little respect.

The St. Johns-based rugby team has won back-to-back Rugby Canada Super League titles and appears poised to make a run at a three-peat, but Parfrey says this hasnt ensured his players a fair shot at regional all-star teams.

The fact that several Rock players were passed over for the recently announced Canada East team is proof to Parfrey that his players are under-appreciated.

Our players have been shafted by the Canadian selectors, Parfrey said in a news release issued this week.

Rock players Ciaran Hearn, Owen Parfrey, Mike Webb and Brian McKenzie made the Canada East team, but several more Newfoundlanders should have also been given roster spots, according to Parfrey.

He said Frank Walsh, Peter Densmore, Kevin Parfrey, Mike Simpson and Robert Wilson could have easily played for Canada East.

We didnt think they were fairly dealt with, said Parfrey, head coach of The Rock, from his St. Johns home this week. I dont think people realize how good our players are.

Parfrey says The Rock players who were cut from Canada East were cast aside in favour of younger players that are seen as top rugby prospects.

While Parfrey agrees playing for Canada East will help these young men develop their skills, he adds they shouldnt have been selected over players with superior abilities.

We think this is unfair to our guys who are in their prime, said Parfrey.

Considering the success The Rock has enjoyed recently, Parfrey admits hes surprised his players are still getting overlooked at the national level.

He said if back-to-back Super League championships isnt enough to impress people, theres only one thing left to do.

Well have to win a third, he said.

The Rock heads to Toronto this weekend for a pair of exhibition games against the Irish Canadians and the Crusaders, but several veterans wont make the trip, including Densmore, Rod Snow, Koen Buseman and Sean OLeary.

The Rock opens the regular season June 2 against the Quebec Caribou at Swilers Rugby Park.

Organizations: Rugby Canada Super League

Geographic location: Canada East, Toronto, Swilers Rugby Park

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