Canada national rugby union team

Canada national rugby union team

"For the Canadian rugby league team see Canada national rugby league team."

Rugby team
country =Canada

union = Rugby Canada
nickname = Canucks / Maple leafs
emblem = the Maple leaf
ground = Various
captain = Ed Fairhurst
coach = flagicon|NZL Kieran Crowley
from = 2004
caps =
top scorer = Gareth Rees (487)
most tries =
pattern_la1 =
pattern_b1 = _canada_rugby
pattern_ra1 =
leftarm1 = 000000
body1 = FFFFFF
rightarm1 = 000000
shorts1 = 000000
socks1 = 000000
pattern_la2 =
pattern_b2 =
pattern_ra2 =
leftarm2 =FFFFFF
body2 = FFFFFF
rightarm2 =FFFFFF
shorts2 = 000000
socks2 = 000000
first = ru|JPN 9 - 8 ru-rt|CAN|1921
(31 January, 1932)
bigwin = ru|BAR 3 - 71 ru-rt|CAN
(24 June, 2006)
bigloss = ru|ENG 70 - 0 ru-rt|CAN
(13 November, 2004)
World cup apps = 5
year = 1987
best = Quarter Finals, 1991
The Canada national rugby union team represents Canada in international rugby union. They are governed by Rugby Canada, and play in red and black. Canada is classified by the International Rugby Board (IRB) as a tier two rugby nation. There are ten tier one nations, and seven tier two nations, the others being the Fiji, Japan, Romania, Samoa, Tonga and the USA. Canada compete in competitions such as the Churchill Cup and the Rugby World Cup. The sheer size of Canada means that talent is scattered across the country making the job of coaches and selectors very difficult. The climate is also unfavourable for playing rugby union for much of the year in most parts of the country.

Canada has been playing international rugby since the early 1930s, making their debut in 1932 against Japan. Canada have competed at every World Cup since the tournament was first staged in 1987. Canada achieved thus far their best result at the World Cup in 1991, where they reached the quarter-finals.


Early years

In 1874 when the first North American international game took place in Cambridge, Massachusetts between McGill and Harvard universities. Later that same year a second game was played, but this time Harvard were the hosts, and the game was played with early "American Football" rules. Today, in carrying on the oldest annual sporting competition in North America, McGill University and Harvard University continue the tradition of competing for the Covo Cup, at alternating venues each November, using the original rules of rugby football. McGill University can therefore lay claim to being the oldest rugby club in Canada, but due to rugby's popularity among students and the McGill University Rugby Football Club's affiliation with the university, the claim as the oldest independent rugby club goes to the still active [ Westmount Rugby Football Club] .

A Canadian Rugby Football Union was established in 1884, although this organisation went on to become the Canadian Football League, as rugby football in Canada evolved into Canadian football. In 1902–1903 the first Canadian team toured Britain. In 1909, Lord Earl Grey, then Governor General of Canada, donated a trophy to the CRU to be awarded for the Rugby Football Championship of Canada. This trophy became known as the Grey Cup. However the rules used in Canada were vastly different from the rules used in countries that were part of the IRB. In the years that followed, the CRU would legalise forward passing and make other changes that would make Canadian football a totally different sport.

Post-World War I

During World War I and II rugby union was suspended but in the inter-war period there was something of a renaissance. In 1919 a Canadian Services team played overseas against representatives from England, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. The formation of the Rugby Union of Canada took place in 1929 and this was followed by a tour of Japan by a Canadian representative side in 1932 to help foster trade between the two countries. About half the team were Canadian born (mostly British Columbia players) and the rest were originally from Britain. They lost 9-8 and 38-5 in the two test matches.

The original Canadian Rugby Union disbanded just before World War I. Canada's team to the United Kingdom in 1962 was dominated by British Columbia players. The Rugby Union of Canada was re-formed in 1965 as the Canadian Rugby Union. The 1966 British Lions played a non-cap match in Toronto on their way back from Australia and New Zealand, a match they won 19-8.

Modern era

Canada were one of the 16 nations that were invited by the International Rugby Board (IRB) to compete at the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987, hosted by both Australia and New Zealand. Canada were grouped with Wales, Ireland and Tonga in Pool 2. In their first ever World Cup match they defeated Tonga 37 points to 4. However they lost their subsequent matches 46-19 to Ireland and 40-9 to Wales, and finished third in the pool (not advancing to the finals).

Canada had to qualify for the 1991 World Cup, and took part in the Americas tournaments to do so. Canada finished first in the final standings, qualifying into Pool D, alongside France, Romania and Fiji. Canada beat Fiji and Romania but lost their fixture against France 19-13 to finish second in the pool, advancing to the quarter-finals. They were however then knocked out by the All Blacks, 29 points to 13 in Lille.

They famously beat Wales 26-24 on November 10, 1993 at Cardiff Arms Park; and beat France 18-16 on June 4, 1994 at Twin Elms Rugby Park in Nepean, Ontario; and battled to a 27-27 draw against Ireland on June 27, 2000 at Markham, Ontario; and chalked up a 26-23 win against Scotland in Vancouver, British Columbia on June 15, 2002. The win over Scotland was the start of a streak of seven victories before losing to Wales (in Cardiff.)

Canada has never beaten England in six games, but has played their national XV, B team, and Under 23 teams eleven times (for which Canada awarded its players international caps.) The most notable result was a 15-12 victory over a strong England XV on May 29, 1993 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby. Unfortunately for the Canadians, on the eve of the match England's management chose not to award international caps (due to fact that some players were touring with the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand at the time.) Additionally, before defeating Scotland proper in 2002, Canada beat Scotland XV 24-19 on May 25, 1991 at St. John, New Brunswick.

As they were quarter finalists in 1991, they automatically qualified for the 1995 World Cup. They were in Pool A with the hosts South Africa, defending champions Australia, and Romania. Canada finished third in the pool, winning their match against Romania but losing 27-11 to Australia and 20-nil to the Springboks. Canada won the now defunct Pacific Rim tournament three years in succession in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Canada finished second in Round 4 of the Americas 1999 Rugby World Cup qualifying, losing only to Argentina, and qualify for the World Cup. Canada finished third in their pool (with France, Fiji and Namibia), winning their match against Namibia but losing their other two fixtures. The victory against Namibia was uncharacteristic for Canada, as they ran the score up to 72-11, one of their most lopsided victories, as there was a very slight statistical chance that they could have advanced on points scored. This trashing was the one bright light in an otherwise gloomy and disapponting 1999 World Cup performance.

Like all second and third tier nations the Canadians have had problems having these players available for important games. As a consequence Canada has slipped out of the top 10 rugby union nations, but has never-the-less provided top class players such as Dan Baugh, Rod Snow, Mike James, Colin Yukes, Dave Lougheed and Jamie Cudmore to teams in England, Wales and France. The Canadians qualified for the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia.

Canada qualified as Americas 1, finishing at the top of Round 4 Americas tournaments, winning five of their six fixtures to enter the 2003 World Cup in Australia, their fifth world cup in a row. Canada's sole win was a 24-7 result against Tonga as they lost their games against Italy, Wales and the All Blacks.

Since 2003 Canada has played host to the Churchill Cup, but has yet to make the final. In 2004 and 2005 they replaced China in the Super Powers Cup. For the 2004 Superpowers Cup, Canada was substituted for China. In 2005 the competition was renamed the Super Cup. Canada beat Japan 15-10 in the final.

Canada has completed the qualification process for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. They were in a 3-team group (Canada, USA, Barbados). Each played the other once. On June 24, 2006, Canada defeated Barbados 71-3, in Barbados. Canada achieved a record win over the USA in the match at Newfoundland on August 12, 2006, defeating the USA 56-7 in front of a capacity crowd, player James Pritchard scored a national record 36 points with three tries, six conversions and three penalties in the match. The win assured Canada of a place in the 2007 World Cupcite web | | title=Canada claim Americas 2 spot |url=| accessmonthday=22 August | accessyear=2006] as Americas 2 in Pool B. Also that year, a Canadian team won the NA4 and the national team beat the US earlier in the Churchill Cup. Pool B also had Australia, Fiji, Japan and Wales.


The national team currently does not have a permanent home stadium and as such play their matches at various locations across the country. BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario has been proposed as the national team's home stadium, even though it cannot provide a suitable rugby climate year-round. However, rumours have the national team playing out of the proposed Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia when (and if) it is completed. This would place the national rugby stadium in the country's main rugby stronghold of British Columbia, and in a city whose winter climate is considerably milder than that of most of the rest of Canada.

International record

(Current to September 2007)

Recent results

2006 Churchill Cup

* 7 June, 10-15 loss to Scotland A at Twin Elm Rugby Park in Ottawa
* 15 July, 41-11 loss to England Saxons at York University, in Toronto
* 29 July, 33-18 win over United States at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton

World Cup qualifying

* 24 June, 3-69 win over Barbados in Bridgetown, Barbados
* 12 August, 56-7 win over United States in St. John's

2006 European tour

* 17 November, 61-26 loss to Wales at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
* 25 November, 41-6 loss to Italy at Stadio Pordenone, Fontanafredda

2007 Churchill Cup

* 19 May, 39-20 loss to Ireland A at Sandy Park, Exeter, England
* 25 May, 59-23 loss to New Zealand Maori at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton, England
* 2 June, 52-10 win over "'United States at Twickenham Stadium

2007 summer tests

* 16 June, 64-13 loss to All Blacks at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand
* 11 August, 34-18 win over Portugal (versus Canada XV) at Fletcher's Fields, Markham
* 18 August, 42-12 win over Portugal (full test) at Twin Elm Rugby Park, Ottawa

2007 World Cup

* 9 September, 42-17 loss to Wales at Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes
* 16 September, 29-16 loss to Fiji at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
* 25 September, 12-12 draw with Japan at Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux
* 29 September, 37-6 loss to Australia at Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux

ee also

* List of Canada national rugby union team test matches
* Rugby union in Canada
* Rugby Canada
* Super Powers Cup
* Churchill Cup
* Rugby Canada Super League
* Canada national rugby union team (sevens)
* Canadian football


External links

* [ Rugby Canada's Home Page]
* [ Canadian rugby union news from Planet Rugby]
* [ Canadian rugby world cup news from]
* [ World Cup Preview]

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