Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Clermont sign a third Canadian into their squad with young fly half Connor McCann

Connor McCann, young teenage fly half now has a great opportunity in the Clermont Espoirs squad

For minor nations it is often hardest to get players to professional clubs initially, but when they do have some professionals it is not only good for rugby in the nation as playing professionally improves the player, it also adds more contacts between teams.

This is currently happening at the team currently second in the Top 14 Clermont Auvergne and their relationship with Canadian players. Senior player Jamie Cudmore, a veteran Canadian international, has no doubt added contacts with les Jaunards from the Massif Central.

Jamie Cudmore, influential in
bringing more Canadians to Clermont?
And as a result talented Canadians are being brought in to the Espoirs squad, after a previous young Canadian prospect in lock Cam Pierce being brought in, now a second has been brought in teenage fly half or centre Connor McCann from the Ontario Blues, who has represented Canada at junior level and at Sevens.

The move is a big boost for Canadian rugby as Clermont are known for having one of the best youth set ups in Europe, they have won the Espoirs (literally hopes) title for the past three seasons and also have a battery of young talent coming through at the minute such as Wesley Fofana, Jean-Marcelin Buttin, Clément Ric and Julien Bardy.

The move should develop McCann massively as a player, and hopefully for for the Canucks a potential future fly half for the national team and replacement for Ander Monro one day. McCann has a two year contract, and is unlikely to play for the Clermont first team in that period and will be evaluated as to whether he has a future as a first team player at the end of his two year contract. He may not succeed but will have a great opportunity at a very good team, with a very good academy.

Clermont aren't just developing their own side, their academy system is developing many quality players around the globe, alongside their homegrown French stars like Fofana and Buttin they also have brought players through from Portugal (although that player is a French player playing for Portugal), Georgia and Fiji through their academy and now currently have players from Canada there too.

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