Friday, October 4, 2013

Retro Friday - Canada´s Al Charron is the only Tier Two player to have scored against all SANZAR nations

Charron v Wales in RWC 2003
In the history of international rugby there is only one player from outside of Tier One nations to have scored test tries against each of Australia, New Zealad and South Africa. That player is former Canadian captain Al Charron who did so playing in three different postions. 

The contribution of Charron to both Canadian rugby and the the Rugby World Cup is noteworthy. He is the most capped Canadian player of all time with seventy-six test caps and is the third most capped Canadian player at Rugby World Cups. Charron´s record of twelve caps in Rugby World Cup matches is behind Rod Snow and Gareth Rees who played fifteen and thirteen Rugby World Cup matches respectively. Rees has been added to the IRB Hall of Fame and it is likely that Charron will join him to become the second Canadian to have the honor. 

Unlike most Canadian players during the 1990´s Charron was not from the Pacific Province of British Columbia. Of the team that played against New Zealand in the 1991 Rugby World Cup Quarter Final in France Charron was not only the only player from Ottawa and Ontario but also the only player from outside of British Columbia. 

While Charron´s record as the most capped Canadian of all time may well be overtaken one record that can never be beaten is that of tries against SANZAR nations. Charron is amongst twenty-two international rugby players to have scored tries against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and, unlike all others he is the only not from a Tier One nation. With Tier One nations playing matches against Tier Two sides rarely the chances of a player joining Charron in the list are low. But regardless of whether or not another player can scored against all three Charron will always be the first player to have completed the feat. 

Leading Canada in his final test appearance Charron was set to leave the game with a victory over Tonga only for him to be taken out by Pierre Hola with an illegall hit and then forced out of the match. His World Cup nonetheless ended with a win and in previous editions of the tournament Charron had played in wins over Fiji, Namibia and Romania. He was also involved in other important wins for Canada including the 1993 victory over Wales in Cardiff.

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