Holy grail of rugby makes a go to to Victoria


If this is Tuesday, it ought to be Victoria.

Rugby’s holy grail made an appearance on the garden of the legislature as a part of its global excursion ahead of the 2019 World Cup, wherein the Langford-based Canadian country great crew will open Sept. 26 at Fukuoka towards Italy.

Canada has certified for all 8 World Cup tournaments — this time by way of the seat-of-its-shorts after securing the 20 th and final berth in November with the aid of triumphing the remaining-danger qualifying event in Marseille, France.

Premier John Horgan, an avid sports activities fan, turned into among those looking over the Web Ellis Trophy in conjunction with numerous cabinet ministers in his government.

“I turned into a basketball participant who played rugby, and I don’t assume that became lost on any of the teams that used to overwhelm Reynolds [Secondary] returned inside the day,” Horgan quipped.

“I became hooked on the game once I lived south of the equator [in Australia]. Rugby is a global recreation that brings humans together. I am proud to stay in Langford, the home of Rugby Canada. We’ve were given high-quality athletes residing in Victoria and working in Victoria because of the centers we will offer. And the climate is not too terrible, as properly.”


Given that he’s the surest, few would deny Horgan his optimism about Canada’s probabilities in a World Cup pool that consists of New Zealand and South Africa. However, few rugby pundits around the world might agree with him approximately Canada’s possibilities: “If we get by using the All Blacks and the Springboks, I suppose it’s smooth sailing to the finals. And I’m actual when I say that.”

Horgan additionally gave shoutouts to the wildly successful Canada Sevens guys rugby match, which this month attracted seventy-three,819 fans over days to B.C. Place, and the May Canada Sevens ladies event to be hosted by using the 2016 Rio Olympic bronze-medallist Canadian team at Westhills Stadium in Langford.

Gareth Rees of Victoria, a member of the International Rugby Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, changed into among people who accumulated at the legislature lawn to welcome the trophy. It is named after the schoolboy who picked up the ball and ran with it all through a football sport at Rugby School in England in 1823 to invent a brand new game.

“I played in 4 World Cups, and this represents a large part of my existence,” Rees said.

A gambling subject was created on the legislature lawn, with inflatable aim posts, as politicians and nearby teenagers gamers engaged in informal scrimmaging.

“I examine the World Cup being right here, and the youth players playing at the lawn, and I ask myself is this sincerely occurring,” said Rees, now director of network and program members of the family for Rugby Canada.

Five of the seven players who have captained Canada inside the World Cup — Rees two times and Hans De Goede, Mark Wyatt, Morgan Williams and Pat Riordan — stay in Greater Victoria.

The former captains took the Web Ellis Trophy to Bear Mountain later Tuesday for a reunion and night of reflection. But they could handiest look at it. By culture, most straightforward players who’ve gained the World Cup are allowed to touch the trophy.

This becomes the primary Canadian forestall after the Web Ellis Trophy became flown up from Los Angeles. As part of its excursion there, it was positioned on show at center court docket of the Staples Center before a Laker’s basketball recreation.

Other Canadian stops this week consist of Vancouver and Ottawa earlier than the trophy tour maintains around the arena ahead of heading to Japan for the World Cup.

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