Canada’s Hannah Darling drives past a New Zealand defender. (Black Press file photo)

British Columbians hooked on rugby

The province is rushing towards the sport with deep historical roots

According to Rugby BC, British Columbians continue to account for a high share of players representing Canada’s top rugby players. Sixty-eight per cent of players for the senior national men’s Sevens team come from British Columbia, while 49 per cent of the players on the Fifteens team hails from the province. Almost 62 per cent of the 2017/18 National Men’s U20 Team calls British Columbia home.

RELATED: Canada finishes fifth at world rugby stop in Langford

One of the oldest organized sports in Canada, rugby is currently experiencing a boom phase, both in participation and attendance for major events. Canada is home to almost 30,000 registered players, and some 70,000 fans bought tickets for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Vancouver. One measure of this growing popularity is actually the public’s interest in a dispute over Rugby Canada’s decision to re-organize its structure.

RELATED: Victoria-area sevens players boycott Rugby Canada sessions, upset at new reorganization

The sport is also seeping into public, if not political conscience, as both New Democratic Premier John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Andrew Weaver are former players and fans of the sport. In fact, both visited an international rugby match held on the West Shore in the spring of 2017 following the inconclusive provincial election.

While both insisted that they were just watching a rugby game, observers interpreted their shared passion for the sport, as another sign of their pending political alliance, with the Greens playing the role of kingmakers.

The Grey Cup also has a connection to the sport. Rugby served as a template for the sport that eventually evolved into Canadian football, whose rules, while thoroughly Americanized, have retained rugby elements. Contemporary teams now competing for the Grey Cup also had their historical roots as rugby clubs.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Charity tackling ‘weekend hunger gap’ bracing for tripling of students in need

Backpack Buddies was serving 1,300 students per week in March, by June that number doubled

Island Sexual Health expanding physical space and workforce

Island Health looking to hire more health care workers for centre once expansion complete

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Most Read