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Magali Harvey

At the last International Lawn Bowling Championship in California, the American team arrived in different cars, wore an odd assortment of white uniforms, and stayed at different hotels (much like a rag-tag rugger XV playing an away game). The Canadian players came in one group, wore similar team blazers and attractive uniforms, and were accompanied by a coach.  The government sponsors the Canadian bowlers.

In the past twelve-months, Canadian rugby for men and women has witnessed an international ascendancy, which indicates the success of the planning and implementation of that government's program.

Men

The Maple Leaf men defeated the USA twice in World Cup qualifying rounds, forcing the Eagles to play two additional games against Uruguay to get into the 2015 tournament.  (N.B. Canada holds a 38-13-1 historic record against the USA.)

The Canadian men's sevens were the surprise team of the 2013/2014 HSBC-sponsored tournament finishing an astounding sixth with an all time high total of 90 points. Key to their victory was a third place finish in the Las Vegas Sevens where they garnered 17 points.

Women

The Reds lost to England in the finals of this year's Women’s RWC, also a milestone finish for a team that never made the finals before. In addition, Magali Harvey was named IRB Player of the Year, and her 80-meter try was the score of the event.

The Canadian women's sevens team landed in third place behind New Zealand and Australia, making the finals once in the six-event circuit.

Finally, in the Youth Olympics Sevens in China, Canadian girls finished second behind Australia.

Rugby Canada, the governing body, entered into a training agreement with the Welsh Rugby Union to assist in developing young Canadian talent.

So, what can USA Rugby learn from the success of its northern neighbors? It can't be only about the money.

 

Comments

Strange piece. Canada has historically been better than the US at rugby. Not only is this not something new like the author tries to argue, but there are a lot of selective facts in there. The Eagles beat Canada for the first time since 2009 this summer, the Selects destroyed Canada A in the ARC last October (I believe this was the first time the Selects beat Canada A in the ARC) and the JAAs finished above their U20s in the JWRT. I was looking forward to hearing an analysis of the reasons Canada has historically been stronger than us and was disappointed with the lack of analysis and selective fact inclusion.
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