Rugby Canada is pleased to announce that it will play host to three international rugby test matches in the month of June. The matches, all pitting the Canadian National Senior Men’s team against IRB (International Rugby Board) ranked top 20 opponents, will give Canadian fans from all over the country the opportunity to see exciting live action.
“To have an opportunity to host three high profile teams on our home soil is tremendous for the organization, the team and especially for the fans,” said Graham Brown, CEO of Rugby Canada. “This is a fantastic opportunity for the fans to be able to come out and support their country, from coast to coast. These matches will challenge our team to push themselves against these great programs and allow us to showcase how fantastic Canadian rugby is.”
Test Match Information:
CANADA vs. USA
Saturday June 9, 2012
Richardson Stadium, Kingston, Ontario
CANADA vs. ITALY
Friday June 15, 2012
BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario
CANADA vs. GEORGIA
Saturday June 23, 2012
Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, British Columbia
Note: Kick-off times & ticket information to be announced shortly.
With the matches taking place in three different cities, fans not only in Toronto, Kingston and Burnaby but also those that reside in neighbouring areas of the GTA, Ottawa, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley, the Interior and even US border cities will have the opportunity to make it out to a game. Looking to keep up the momentum from Canada’s excellent 2011 Rugby World Cup appearance, the Canadian team featured in this series, ranked 13th in the world, will carry many of the same members as that squad.
“We’re excited for the challenge, all three of these games are going to be providing high quality opposition,” said Kieran Crowley, Canadian National Senior Men’s coach. “It’s an opportunity to grow the game nationally and really build momentum off the Rugby World Cup.”
The series starts in Kingston, Ontario with the much anticipated rematch from last year’s Battle at BMO field, which saw the Canadian team overcome a first half deficit to defeat a hard fighting American squad, currently ranked 17th in the world, 28-22. Always a terrific rivalry no matter what the context, the Canadians will look to once again top the US on Canadian soil, while competing for the historic Can-Am Trophy.
The match against the 12th ranked Italian squad may prove to be Canada’s toughest challenge of the series. Coming off a 2011 Rugby World Cup that saw Italy finish with a two wins and two losses record, the Italians will come into 2012 with something to prove. A huge opportunity for the Canadians to once again play at BMO field, the team is looking forward to playing in front of a packed house and really get the fans behind them as the 16th man.
“It is a great opportunity for rugby in Ontario to have two premier international test matches being played in Toronto and Kingston,” explained Andrew Backer, Executive Director of Rugby Ontario. “Not only does it allow us to promote the sport and the programs we offer in the sport, but also creates a buzz and excitement. This gives the opportunity for both the new and returning rugby fan to experience a great brand of international rugby in their own backyard.”
The last match of the series, taking place in Burnaby, British Columbia, will see the Canadian squad take on the 14th ranked Georgian team. A very competitive match up for the Canadians indeed, as the team from Georgia is coming off a 2011season that saw them place runner up in the IRB Nations Cup. In 2009, the two teams faced off in what was Georgia’s first ever appearance in the Churchill Cup. Canada won that match by a score of 42-10, and look to repeat that performance when the two teams meet in Burnaby.
"Rugby fans in British Columbia will be thrilled to have the national team return to the province for an international Test match," said BC Rugby CEO Jeff Sauvé. "This is a great opportunity to support our national squad and to promote the sport here on the West Coast."