Thursday, January 23, 2014

Burnaby to play host to Canada v Japan in June

Photo ODT: Canada will host Japan in June
The governing body of the number one ranked North American country, Rugby Canada, has confirmed that Canada will be playing against Japan at Burnaby, British Columbia this June in the national team´s only home fixture in the 2014 Pacific Nations Cup. 

Located immediately to the east of Vancouver, Burnaby is to host what is expected to be a highly competitive match as the rivalry between Canada and Japan has gone the way of the Japanese in recent years. The top ranked Asian rugby nation last lost against Canada in 2005 with Japan winning two tests in 2009 and winning the 2013 fixture. The two other matches during this period both ended in a draw with the teams finishing their matches at Rugby World Cups 2007 and 2011 on equal footing. 

Rugby supporters and the general rugby in and around the Vancouver-Burnaby area can therefore begin preparing themselves for what has the potential to be a quality rugby match at Swangard Stadium. The venue has previously hosted international rugby with Canada defeating Russia in 2009 and Georgia in 2012. It has also hosted domestic matches but the fixture against Japan is to be the most significant match that the venue has ever hosted. 

It is a notable achieved for Burnaby to have secured the fixture due to Rugby Canada having overlooked British Columbia in recent years with international rugby instead being concentrated in eastern Canada with Ontario being the prime recipient. In the 2013 Pacific Nations Cup Canada hosted tests against the USA, Fiji and Tonga and did so in Edmonton, Ottawa and Kingston while Toronto´s BMO Field has come to be the national home stadium for the most marketable home matches and this will continue in June with it playing host to Scotland.

The match against Japan will take place on June 7, seven days before Canada takes on Scotland. Rugby Canada has confirmed that the extra seats will be arranged in Burnaby. With temporary seating the capacity will be increased from its current capacity of 4,500. It is hoped that with IRB clearance Canada will be able to play test rugby at the much larger BC Place Stadium in Vancouver which seats over 50,000 for soccer matches. The playing surface is polytan turf rather than grass which, at present, means Rugby Canada is unable to use it for international matches.

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