Ottawa, Ont. - With the Canadian National Senior Men’s Team training in Ottawa prior to their highly anticipated Summer Series that will see them play the US, Italy and Georgia, kicking off in Kingston on June 9th, the team will take to the Lawn of Parliament Hill on June 4th for what will be there first “official” game since the Rugby World Cup back in October.
The squad will team up with a selection of parliamentarians from all parties, members of the parliamentary press gallery and local sports personalities to play a touch rugby 7s match, which has been dubbed “the Game on the Hill”.
The game, which is scheduled to kick off at 11:30 am EST, will be using school yard rules for team selection seeing a National Team player and Celebrity guest co-captain each team. The match will be a fun and entertaining start to what promises to be a great Summer Series that will see the team play three International test matches in front of fans across the country.
“Canada is looking forward to taking the field at the Game on the Hill. This is the first opportunity for our team to play on home soil after the World Cup campaign in New Zealand and doing it on the lawns of legislature is a true privilege,” said National Men’s Program Manager and Canadian Rugby Legend, Gareth Rees. “Like our MP’s, we are proud Canadians who work hard to represent the country well every time we take the field. We have asked that the great Al Charron [Canadian Rugby Legend and member of the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame] be benched in case he takes out one of his own teammates this time!”
In the first ever exhibition of rugby played on the lawns of Parliament in 2009 between Al Charron's Ottawa Irish and a Military selects team that inlcluded the likes of Defence Minister Peter Mackay and Canadian rugby legends Rod Snow and Morgan Williams, Charron infamously crunched the Defence Minister with a game saving tackle. Minister Mackay ended up with a broken arm and an arsenal of speech making material thanks to Al.
This year’s match will feature several MP’s representing different parties and regions across the country as well as members of the media who have agreed to don the Maple Leaf and hit the pitch with our Senior Men’s team. The brave media personalities include Kevin Newman from CTV, David Akin from Sun News, John Ivison from the National Post, Evan Solomon from CBC, CTV Ottawa sports reporter Terry Marcotte, Shawn McCarthy from the Globe and Mail and Joël-Denis Bellevance from LaPresse.
Rugby fans, and sports fans alike, are encouraged to come out to Parliament Hill on June 4th to take in the entertainment, wish the team luck before they begin their test match series in Kingston, and cheer on these political and media personalities as they try and keep up with the Men’s squad.
With the inclusion of rugby 7s in the 2016 Rio Olympic Summer Games, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Own the Podium program are focusing their support for Rugby Canada on rugby 7s. Rugby Canada is promoting this fast paced discipline of the game to get fans more engaged in preparation for the 2016 Olympics and to gear up fans for the North American Caribbean Rugby Association’s Championship and Qualifier for the 2013 Rugby 7s World Cup that will take place in Ottawa on August 25-26.
Rugby Canada would like to thank CN, Ernst and Young and TD Bank who have been kind enough to sponsor and help make this event possible.