Victoria has four players representing Canada at the Rugby World Cup

Team Canada will be led out by Victorias DTH van Der Merwe

Canadian Rugby fans will have to burn the midnight oil if they want to watch the Rugby World Cup live. The event which takes place every four years is being hosted in Japan. The first game kicks off Thursday at 12:45 a.m.

In spite of this, there will almost certainly be some local families staying up late as Victoria is tied with Calgary for the most representatives on the team with four.

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

Team captain, DTH van der Merwe calls Victoria home. He will be hard to miss as he is sporting bleach blonde hair for the tournament and happens to be Canada’s most electrifying player.

Originally van der Merwe hails from South Africa and moved to Victoria in 2005, at which point he joined the James Bay Athletic Association who play in the British Columbia Premier League. James Bay would go on to win three straight provincial championships and a national championship in 2007.

In an email to Black Press, van der Merwe said he hopes Canada’s role in the World Cup will go on to inspire other young Canadians to follow in his footsteps as well as those he’s playing in front of.

“It’s a humbling experience to see how excited everyone is for the World Cup and hopefully we can take that into our game. And on the opposite side, some of these young kids can look up to us and to this tournament and they can someday run out for Japan in a World Cup.”

This will be the fourth world cup van der Merwe has played in but that isn’t something he’s focusing on.

“It’s something special and hopefully I can give my bit on the field. I don’t want to take the personal accolades out of the game because it’s all for me about the team.”

READ MORE: Esquimalt High rugby stars to compete at Paris World Games

The other Victorian players on the team include World Cup debutantes, Luke Cambell, and Will Percillier along with seasoned scrum-half Phil Mack.

Canada faces a tough group that includes New Zealand, Italy, South Africa, and Namibia. They can punch their ticket to the next World Cup in 2023 by finishing in the top three of their group, which will prove difficult as they come into the tournament ranked 22nd in the world meaning they are only higher than one other team in the group, Namibia (23rd).

evan.taylor@vicnews.com


@evanrtaylor
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

Non-venomous ball python missing in Vic West

Snake was reported missing to Victoria police Tuesday morning

Crews respond to medical incident on West Saanich Road

Incident appears to be cleared, witnesses say

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Most Read