The recent IRB Americas Rugby Championship was not memorable from a Canadian perspective as the host nation lost two out of three matches. Canada 'A' defeated Uruguay 'A' but the gulf between Canada 'A' and Los Jaguares remained as the Argentina 'A' side was too strong. The measure of success or failure, however, came down to the performance against the USA Select XV as the USA's 'A' side had demonstrated progress by defeating the Canadians in 2013. The upset result then saw the USA Eagles defeat Canada in a Pacific Nations Cup test match earlier this year and the three-peat was confirmed with the USA Select XV defeating Canada 'A' this week. Canada 'A' thus finished third.
The manner in which the Canadians performed was not welcomed by officials. A source close to the team told Argentina 2023 that the naming of Canada's squad for the November international tour of Europe has been delayed based on the showing of the 'A' Team.
Although the team did not win as many matches as desired there were, nonetheless, performances from individual players which showcase that there are quality youngsters coming through. Indeed, the loss of more players to professional rugby has hit Canada and the USA has been able to close the former notable gap that existed between the 'A' teams of the two countries.
One player who stood out in the Americas Rugby Championship was second-rower Aaron Flagg who was particularly impressive on defence. In the final round match against Los Jaguares he put in a number of solid tackles including the two shown below in the video. The Canadian took down Facundo Isa and Juan Ignacio Brex in consecutive tackles.
Aged twenty-five Flagg has been capped once by his country. He came off the bench against Japan in 2013 and did so as a back-rower rather than a second-rower. Indeed, as is the norm with Canadian second-rowers they tend to be mobile and able to also play at blindside flanker or number eight. Such cases in point include Jamie Cudmore, Jebb Sinclair and captain Tyler Ardron.