Former Cowichan Piggy to join BC Rugby Hall of Fame in 2024

Duncan-born and Shawnigan Lake School graduate ('75) Ian Hyde-Lay is inducted into the BC Rugby Hall of Fame.

Hyde-Lay, now retired, was a player, coach, administrator and referee and as such will be inducted into the Hall in the Builder category.

As a player, Hyde-Lay had a strong connection to the region, Vancouver Island and beyond, representing Shawnigan Lake School, Cowichan Rugby Club, Vancouver Island Tide, British Columbia and the Canadian national team.

After hanging up his spikes, he spent 39 years as a coach at St. Michael's University School in Victoria and also worked at Castaway Wanderers RFC, Vancouver Island Tide, Canada U20 and Canada West during his coaching career.

In addition, Hyde-Lay was a successful referee and officiated numerous matches at various school and elite levels and was nominated internationally to referee the World Rugby Sevens Tour and Rugby World Cup Sevens.

“Ian was involved in rugby for most of his life as a player, coach and referee, but also found time to play basketball for UVic and coach St. Michael's to a couple of BC championships,” said Steve Cowie, long-time member of the Cowichan Rugby Club. “He grew up at Shawnigan Lake School where his father Derek was a coach, teacher and later principal. Derek was one of the founders of the Cowichan Rugby Club and passed on his passion for rugby as well as his competitive spirit, strong work ethic and sense of fair play to Ian.”

Hyde-Lay is the fourth Cowichan Piggie to be inducted into the BC Rugby Hall of Fame, his father being inducted in 2007, the year before Peter Clarke was inducted (2006) and in 2009 it was Jim Ryan's turn.

“During his time at Cowichan RFC, Ian was the consummate tactician as a link-up,” said Cowie. “He could control the game with his excellent kicking and passing skills. He was also our goal scorer and won many games with penalties and drop goals that he could score with either foot.”

“As a team leader, Ian demanded a lot from the team in terms of commitment and hard work, but was always hardest on himself. I can remember him sitting in the locker room long after a game was won, going over the game in his head and analyzing what he could have done better. He was a great teammate and friend to all of us. On the field, he was determined, but also appreciated the club culture, enjoyed singing songs at the piano and helping out whenever needed. Like his father before him, Ian was one of the cornerstones of the club, helping to develop a winning culture that eventually led to BC championships for both men's and women's teams.”

Eddie Evans, born in Terrace, BC, graduate of Shawnigan Lake School (1981), is inducted along with Hyde-Lay. Evans owns a Thailand-based sportswear company called X-Treme Rugby Wear.

The Class of 2024 will be officially inducted into the BC Rugby Hall of Fame next fall. The Hall of Fame was established in 2005 to honour individuals and teams who have made a significant contribution to the development of rugby in British Columbia through their commitment to excellence. Since then, 49 individuals and two teams have been inducted.