Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Canada confirms venues and dates for June Internationals

Canadian fullback, James Pritchard
The governing body of Canadian Rugby, Rugby Canada has announced that the country´s senior mens team will play host to three international rugby test matches in June 2012. The matches, mark a change from rpevious years in which test numbers were limited due to the involvement of Canada in the Churchill Cup which largely involved the A teams of Six Nations sides. In its place, Canada will face three teams who competed at Rugby World Cup 2011 with one coming from the IRB´s first tier and two from the second. Canada is ranked 13th in the World and could go even higher should it succeed in notching up victories.

CEO of Rugby Canada, Graham Brown said “To have an opportunity to host three high profile teams on our home soil is tremendous for the organization, the team and especially for the fans.... This is a fantastic opportunity for the fans to be able to come out and support their country, from coast to coast. These matches will challenge our team to push themselves against these great programs and allow us to showcase how fantastic Canadian rugby is.”

Canada is following the lead of fellow American country, Argentina in distributing its home matches across the country rather than focus on having one traditional home ground. The chosen cities are Toronto, Kingston and Burnaby in Canada´s provinces of Ontario and British Colombia.
Canadian National Senior Men’s coach, Kioeran Crowley commented that “We’re excited for the challenge, all three of these games are going to be providing high quality opposition... It’s an opportunity to grow the game nationally and really build momentum off the Rugby World Cup.”

The series starts in Kingston, Ontario with the North American rivals of Canada and the USA so go head-to-head. The USA Eagles will be out for revenge after blowign a first half lead in going down to Canada in Toronto last August. Canada followed it up with a big win the following week in Colorado. Canada´s second June test looms as the one to truely test the abilities of the home side. Canada will face Italy at the BMO field in Toronto, the same venue that hosted Canada vs USA in 2011.

Andrew Backer, Executive Director of Rugby Ontario told Rugby Canada that “It is a great opportunity for rugby in Ontario to have two premier international test matches being played in Toronto and Kingston... Not only does it allow us to promote the sport and the programs we offer in the sport, but also creates a buzz and excitement. This gives the opportunity for both the new and returning rugby fan to experience a great brand of international rugby in their own backyard.”

The third and final match of the June series will take place in the rrugby stronghold of Burnaby, British Columbia and will see the Canadians take on the ever improving Georgia. "Rugby fans in British Columbia will be thrilled to have the national team return to the province for an international Test match," said BC Rugby CEO Jeff Sauvé. "This is a great opportunity to support our national squad and to promote the sport here on the West Coast."

June 2012 Schedule

Saturday June 9, 2012 Canada vs USA, Richardson Stadium, Kingston, Ontario
Friday June 15, 2012 Canada vs Italy, BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario
Saturday June 23, 2012 Canada vs Georgia, Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, British Columbia

Source: Rugby Canada

Canada vs USA, 2011

Canada vs Italy A, 2011

Georgia vs Canada, 2010

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