Friday, August 30, 2013

Total Rugby report on Canada Qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2015

Canada Confirmed in Pool D
Earlier this week the IRB´s weekly rugby program, Total Rugby, took a look at the Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifier between Canada and the USA in Toronto. Having defeated the USA home and away Canada became the first nation to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2015, joining the twelve automatic qualifiers. It maintains the proud Canadian rugby tradition of having participated in every Rugby World Cup.

Canada´s qualification sees the country confirmed as the best North American rugby playing nation and has Canada enter an otherwise all-European pool. Canada will place France, Ireland, Italy and Europe 2 in matches in England and Wales. Canadian rugby officials are extremely happy with the qualification place as it means the governing body of Canadian rugby, Rugby Canada, is able to market the national men´s team as the best in North America. They emphasize this as being paramount to the future of rugby in the country as it is a platform to recieve crucial media exposure.

As such Rugby Canada does not believe that qualifying in Pool B would have been better even though the Pool appears to have less difficult opposition and also have friendlier match schedule with more time allocated for the four pool matches. Canada will open its campaign on September 19 against Ireland at the Millennium Stadium in Wales and will then travel to England to face Italy in Leeds, France in Milton Keynes and the Europe 2 qualifier in Leicester.

It will have only four rest days between its second and third pool matches and also between its third and fourth. The highly questionable match schedule requires Canada to play its four matches in five fewer days than all of France, Ireland and Italy. Canada will be the pool´s first team to play all four matches as its final match against a European qualifier (possibly Romania) wil be played on October 6 while France v Ireland and Italy v Europe 2 will both be played on October 11.

In good news for Canadian supporters veteran secondrower Jamie Cudmore appears to have confirmed his intention of playing in another Rugby World Cup. The Clermont Auvergne forward played for Canada in Australia 2003, France 2007 and New Zealand 2011. Should he play in England 2015 he would match the status of a player widely considered to be Canada´s greatest ever player, Gareth Rees. The former test flyhalf played in the first four Rugby World Cup´s. 

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