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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.
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.
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.