Senior Men’s Team:
The Senior Men will be very busy in the next few months. Coming off their best ever finish of sixth place on the HSBC Seven’s World Series (improving from 12th last year), the men in red hope to use this summer as a final prep to build a strong foundation and identify the top talent at each position before the Rugby World Cup next September in England. Today, the team finds itself in training camp at the Rugby Canada Centre of Excellence in Langford, B.C. preparing for their summer schedule.
Canada Selects vs. BC Bears – May 31st, Vancouver (streamed: bcrugby.com)
To kick the season off, the Maple Leafs will face an invitational BC Bears side to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the BC Rugby Union. This will be a match loaded with Canadian starters on both sides, making it a intra-squad match, more than anything. Most of Canada’s international players, Jamie Cudmore (ASM Clermont) and Jebb Sinclair (London Irish) among them, have returned to take part in the last major national camp before England 2015.
Canada vs. Japan – June 7th, Vancouver (live on TSN, 9PM EST)
Canada’s first real test takes place against the ‘Brave Blossoms’ from Japan as part of the annual Pacific Nations Cup. Canada lost the last match up between these two teams in 2013. Separated by only two positions in the IRB standings, both squads will be looking for a strong performance ahead of next summers World Cup. Canada and Japan have an extensive rugby history, and have tied in each of the last two World Cups.
In honour of this match, I think it’s appropriate for a rugby haiku:Canada, Japan
Rugby live on TSN
Come on, just WATCH IT!!
Canada vs. Scotland – June 14th, Toronto (TSN, 8PM EST)
Canada’s biggest test this summer takes place the very next week at BMO Field in Toronto. 15th ranked Canada faces off against 10th ranked Scotland at what is sure to be a festive atmosphere in BMO. These teams haven’t played since 2008 when Scotland beat the Maple Leafs in Stirling and Canada will be hoping to give the packed house something to cheer about with a home nation ready for the taking. This test will give both Canada and their fans an idea of how they will fare in the group stages of the next world cup where they will meet Scottish equals Italy.
Such a big game calls for a rugby haiku of its own:Canada, Scotland
Meeting at BMO Field,
Pub crawl has to wait
Canada vs. USA – June 21st, Sacramento
In the second leg of Canada’s Pacific Nations Cup schedule, Canada takes on the Eagles in California. While their Hotel [in] California may be a lovely place, the men in red are hoping their lovely faces bring plenty of disappointment to the home side. Canada hasn’t lost to the United States in any fixture since 2009. The Eagles have a lot to prove against their northern rivals, and Canada wants to send a message ahead of 2015.
One final haiku, why not, eh?:Canada, US
Bitter rivals clash again
Loser keeps Bieber
Check back tomorrow for an update on the Senior Women’s Team, whose summer will be even busier!
Image Credit: Rugby Canada
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