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This weekend – July 27, 28, and 29 – will mark the 45th anniversary of the Saranac Lake Can Am tournament, the largest rugby fifteen’s event in the country.

The 25th tournament in 1998 continued to attract top teams from the two countries. Founded in 1974 by the Mountaineers RFC of Saranac Lake, the tournament welcomed Women’s and Men’s sides from Canada and the USA, and included A Division, Club, Over 35, Over 40, and Youth sides in the three-days of competition. What started with eight teams in 1974, expanded to over 100 sides coming to the summer classic with games played on six different pitches.

The winners that year were Old Blue (NY) who defeated the Bytown Blues from Ottawa. The Canadian side had won this A Division event three-years running, the past opponent, always Old Blue. The Old Blue side was playing in their 23rd Can Am event. The game was tied at 8-8 at the half but the New Yorkers triumphed 25-15.

In the 12-team Women’s Division, Beantown won their 19th Can Am title, defeating Morris RFC. Beantown went undefeated in the run up to the final with three shutout wins, scoring 159 points for and 0 points against.

The Albany Knicks won the Club Division, beating Motown 24-15. Burlington (VT) won the Club Consolation 27-24 against New Haven.

The second year of hosting a Youth Clinic attracted nearly 80 kids.

Can Am flowers and realizes itself annually, offering a well-run event played in perfect summer surroundings. With the demise of the three memorable West Coast tournaments (Monterey, Santa Barbara, and San Diego), the Saranac Lake event survives – along with Aspen – as the premier fifteen’s tournament in the country.

Good luck to all the clubs coming for the 45th this weekend.