Gordon McRorie trains at the Rugby Canada National Training Centre in Langford. (Canterbury photo)

Team Canada set to compete at 2019 Rugby World Cup and Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Rugby Canada’s training centre in Langford prepares athletes for the international stage

Aaron Guillen/Special to the News

Only a year ago the Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre opened its doors in Langford.

The 1,900 square-metre centre that showcases a world-renowned gym with hydrotherapy pools, bedroom studio units, and dining lounges has quickly become a second home for Canada’s rugby players.

“It’s brought all our different programs together,” says Gareth Rees, director of commercial and programs relations for Rugby Canada.

“From men’s to women’s, and 7s to 15s. Now, we all identify as Team Canada. These rugby athletes travel around the world to compete for Canada. [When] they come back, these young people can share a meal together in a social space in a building I never had.”

Rees is a rugby veteran, born in Duncan. He played in the first four Rugby World Cup tournaments, starting in 1987. The veteran went on to be inducted as the first Canadian in the World Rugby Hall of Fame. Additionally, he’s the first and only rugby player in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

“The power of this building has been pretty exceptional,” says Rees.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria rugby players named to national Hall of Fame

But the biggest challenge for Team Canada has been their location, particularly how isolated they are from the best in the world.

“We aren’t in Europe, where rugby is a big deal. Rugby to them is like ice hockey to most Canadians,” says Rees.

Canada came in the last qualifying position of 20 teams for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, slated in Japan next month. Canada will be in Pool B and open the World Cup on September 26 in Fukuoka.

Looking ahead, the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics will see the debut of the Canadian men’s team. Meanwhile, the women will be looking to top their bronze medal from the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

“As Olympic athletes, we typically train around seven hours a day, five to six days per week, year-round,” says Olympic bronze medalist Sara Kaljuvee.

Recently, Kaljuvee captured the gold medal with Team Canada’s women at the 2019 Pan American games last month in Lima, Peru. Now, she’s determined to show Canada’s talent on the world stage.

“The Al Charron Training Centre has … created an unmatched, high-performance training environment. The centre is the perfect place for us to effectively dedicate our time and energy in our quest for gold at Tokyo 2020.”

Team Canada will face-off against a BC All-Stars team in Langford in preparation for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The match takes place at the newly-renovated Westhills Stadium on Aug. 30 at 6:30 p.m.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Rugby Canada

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

 

Sara Kaljuvee in action at the Rugby Canada National Training Centre in Langford. (Mike Lee photo)

Just Posted

Third time lucky for Freedom Mobile cell tower in Sooke

Council approves tower after cell provider applies multiple times

T’Sou-ke First Nation mired in legal woes over gas station development

Claims and counterclaims leave sub-contractors unpaid

Victoria International Airport named one of the best employers in B.C.

Cited reasons include its training programs and tuition subsidies

Thief robs Saanich liquor store at gunpoint, takes cash register

Police ask for public’s help with ongoing investigation

Group continues to pull sunken, abandoned wrecks from Salish Sea

Dead Boats society inching towards 89 wrecks pulled from Capital Regional waters

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

Burger King breaks the mould with new advertising campaign

The company is known for irreverent ad campaigns

Maggie and Tim: B.C. residential school survivor turns to faith, forgiveness in mourning son

A young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

PHOTOS: RCMP call on kids to name latest police puppy recruits

This year’s theme is the letter ‘N,’ and 13 German shephards must be named

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett standing by to return to Smithers

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Federal minister pledges to meet Wet’suwet’en chiefs in B.C. over natural gas pipeline

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they are visiting Mohawk territory

Most Read