Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chauncey O'Toole could return for Canada in November

Photo Zimbio: Chauncey O´Toole breaks an Italy A tackle
One of Canada´s best players during the 2008-2011 period was back-rower Chauncey O´Toole. The number 7 was a true fetcher and also a sublime ball carrier causing havoc for opposition sides. After debuting against Ireland in 2009 O´Toole was able to establish himself as the leading Canadian openside flanker and he would go on to impress in matches leading up to and including the World Cup.

Canada´s World Cup campaign was sound with a good win over Tonga, a draw against Japan and losses against France and New Zealand. Canada had chances against France but few to none against a rested All Blacks side. New Zealand had three days more than Canada to prepare for the match which saw the Canadians defeated by an inflated margin. Canada´s players were visibly tired, especially in the second half but O´Toole was able to compete at the breakdown and win turnovers - the mark of an international openside flanker.

After Rugby World Cup 2011 O´Toole played for the Ospreys in Wales but with limited game time due to Justin Tupuric he played matches for not only the Ospreys but also the Bridgend Ravens in the Welsh Premier Division. O´Toole subsequently returned to Canada earlier than expected and started for Canada against the USA and Italy in home internationals in June 2012. He would also go on to play tests in November against Samoa and Russia but then took time out of rugby and as such has not involved in Canada´s 2013 international agenda thus far.

This may be set to change though as the 27 year old posted a tweet on twitter saying that he may be back for Canada´s November friendly against the New Zealand Maori, tests against Georgia, Romania and Portugal and also for the Dubai Sevens. It is good news for Canada following the loss of Adam Kleeberger to injury during the recently completed Americas Rugby Championship. Kleeberger left the field against Argentina due to injury but could still make the squad and reunite with O´Toole. Standing in their way are the impressive John Moonlight and current Ospreys back-rower Tyler Ardron. 

During his break from rugby O´Toole was busy pursuing a career in fire fighting in his home province of new Brunswick. Curiously other Canadian players have taken a similar road such as former Stade Français and Albi scrum-half Morgan Williams. The former Canadian test captain was not able to continue his career in rugby after taking the decision to get into fire fighting. Now though it would appear that Rugby World Cup 2015 is a real  possibility and if he can recapture the form that saw him signed by the Ospreys and prior to that for the Glasgow Warriors then Canada and the World Cup will be advantaged.

No comments:

Post a Comment