News and Announcements
Rugby Canada is pleased to announce the inaugural seven inductees into the 2017 Hall of Fame class.
Al Charron, Gareth Rees, Rod Snow, Robert ‘Ro’ Hindson and Gillian Florence will be inducted into the player’s wing while Robert Spray and Mike Luke will be the first inductees into the builder’s category.
“We are very pleased that Rugby Canada has approved the seven nominees who had been recommended to be inducted into the Rugby Canada Hall of Fame,” said Barry Giffen, Past President and chair of the Ways and Means Committee. “This inaugural group of inductees are examples of the commitment and success of individuals who have contributed significantly to Rugby Canada’s foundation of world class standards and success.
“It is hoped that this initial group of individuals will set the standard for all future Hall of Famers.”
Last October, the Ways and Means Committee was established to develop a plan to honour and preserve rugby’s culture and heritage in Canada by recognizing the extraordinary achievements of rugby’s participants throughout the country.
The Committee, which features nine members, is headed by Barry Giffen, a two-time past President of Rugby Canada. The other Committee members are John Billingsley, Rick Bourne, Liz Ferguson, Keith Gillam, Rick Graham, Alan Sharp, Doug Sturrock and Keith Wilkinson. The committee features past Rugby Canada board members, presidents and players.
The Rugby Canada Hall of Fame will be located in the recently announced Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre in Langford, BC, and will feature a museum that highlights and celebrates the historic moments in Canadian rugby history, creating a unique focal point at the state-of-the-art rugby facility.
The seven inductees will be celebrated at the annual Rugby Canada Awards Dinner on March 9 in Vancouver, BC, ahead of the HSBC Canada Sevens at BC Place March 11-12. The winners will also be recognized on the second day of the tournament. Tickets for the dinner are available online at www.events.rugbycanada.ca.
Charron, one of the most dominant rugby players of his time, is Canada’s all-time caps leader after suiting up as a starter in all 76 appearances for his country, including 25 times as captain, a Canadian record he shares with Gareth Rees. Charron made his test debut against Argentina in 1990 and made his final appearance at the 2003 Rugby World Cup against Tonga.
Charron played in four Rugby World Cups and went to a fifth as part of management team. He was a member of the inaugural Rugby World Cup Sevens squad in 1993 and also played in the famous Hong Kong Sevens on three occasions.
Over his distinguished career, Charron also made five appearances for the famed British Barbarians and also suited up as part of the World 15’s squad that faced Argentina to celebrate their centenary anniversary in 1999. Charron played for Bristol, Moseley, Pau and US Dax overseas and domestically suited up for the Ottawa Irish Rugby Club where he helped them win multiple provincial championships, across the McCormick Cup and sevens leagues. He also won National Championships with Ontario and the English Division 2 championship with Bristol.
Charron has been inducted into the Eastern Rugby Ontario Hall of Fame, Ontario Rugby Hall of Fame, Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame and is recognized as being one of the top 100 athletes to come from Ottawa. Rugby Canada’s newly announced training facility, located in Langford, BC, will be named the ‘Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre’.
LANGFORD — Rugby Canada is pleased to announce that the new training facility located at the Centre of Excellence in Langford, BC, will be named the Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre.
The announcement comes as His Worship Stewart Young, Mayor of the City of Langford, and Allen Vansen, Rugby Canada’s CEO, were onsite to officially break ground for construction to begin.
“The Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre is a critical resource for the development of Rugby Canada’s National Teams,” Vansen said. “Rugby Canada is grateful for the investment the Government of Canada has made towards this facility and its leadership in inspiring Canadians to participate in sport. Today’s announcement is possible because of the tremendous effort and financial support by numerous committed donors and partners.
“We are excited to announce the naming of this world-class facility in honour of a true Canadian rugby legend, Al Charron. On behalf of Rugby Canada’s Board of Directors and thousands of Rugby fans across Canada, we congratulate Al and his family for this very deserving recognition. As Al did during his playing days, this facility will inspire and help hundreds of Canadian Rugby players to achieve their best and represent Canada to the fullest of their abilities."
Charron, 50, won a record 76 test caps for his country and played in four Rugby World Cups. He captained Canada 25 times.
“I am deeply moved by this honour of having my name on a facility that will help train and mold our excellent Canadian athletes of today and the future for years to come,” Charron said. “This is big for my family and I know my late mother and father would be immensely proud of this honoured being bestowed on me and to see the name they gave me attached to a facility like this.
“I also cannot forget my other close family and extended family members but most of all my son Rylan or my wife Annette who allowed me to be the person and athlete I was. What I was able to do on the field was only possible due to her love and unwavering support and sacrifices she was willing to make for my benefit and that of my Canadian rugby career.”
The 1,765 square metre, two-storey training centre will allow all of Rugby Canada’s teams to train in a single location. It will also be available to support the training needs of other high performance amateur athletes as well as the general public. The Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre is the single largest investment ever made by Rugby Canada in its pursuit of growing the sport in Canada. The facility, located in the heart of City Centre Park in Langford, BC, will provide Rugby Canada, its athletes, coaches and staff, with the necessary infrastructure to keep its National Teams competitive in domestic and international competition.
Inside the training facility will be a 650 square metre gymnasium, changing rooms with shower and bathroom facilities, recovery and stretching rooms, including one with hydro-therapy facilities, a kitchen/dining and lounge area, meeting, office and storage space, six one-bedroom studio units, a therapy clinic, a reception area, and the recently announced Rugby Canada Hall of Fame.
“This project is another example of how the Government of Canada is delivering real results on our infrastructure priorities to benefit communities like Langford and in large and small communities across the country,” said The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. “Our government recognizes that investing in infrastructure is essential to growing the middle class and equipping municipalities with the building blocks they need to support a high standard of living for Canadians and their families.
“Once complete, this facility will provide Rugby Canada, its athletes, coaches and staff, with the necessary infrastructure to help our teams stay at the top of their games, for decades to come.”
Over his distinguished career, Charron also made five appearances for the famed Barbarians and also suited up as part of the World 15’s squad that faced Argentina to celebrate their centenary anniversary in 1999. Charron played for Bristol, Moseley, Pau and US Dax overseas and domestically suited up for the Ottawa Irish Rugby Club.
The Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre is scheduled to open in September 2017. The facility will support elite athletes from across the region and across the country and inspire a sense of national pride in our national teams. It will also help bring a community closer together through their shared passion for rugby.
“To have my name associated with such a facility when I think of the hordes of other great men and women who have played rugby for Canada over the years both before and after my time on the scene is overwhelming,” Charron said. “It would be remiss of me to not acknowledge my coaches and teammates from high school, to club, to representative rugby at the provincial and national level. I was the player I was due to my time spent both on and off of the field that was forged by the great teammates I was fortunate to have.”
Twenty-five women’s sevens players have been centralized ahead of the 2016-17 HSBC Women’s Sevens Season.
The squad features a mix of experience and youth that will be led once again by John Tait.
“With the start of the new Olympic cycle already underway, it’s hugely important to us to get what we currently believe is the core of the team that will be in Tokyo 2020, working together as a group,” Tait said. “The program has evolved greatly over the last five years and it is gratifying to see the athletes we identified for the Youth Olympics, Youth Commonwealth Games and FISU 7s teams coming through and providing us with some quality depth within this new centralized group.”
Fifteen players have previous experience on the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series in Britt Benn, Caroline Crossley, Hannah Darling, Bianca Farella, Julia Greenshields, Emmanuela Jada, Sara Kaljuvee, Jen Kish, Ghislaine Landry, Megan Lukan, Kayla Moleschi, Breanne Nicholas, Ashley Steacy, Natasha Watcham-Roy and Charity Williams.
The rest of the squad features a number of Canada’s next generation in Olivia Apps, Pamphinette Buisa, Emma Chown, Sophie de Goede, Ashley Gordon, Kaili Lukan, Irene Patrinos, Denise Roy, Erika Scott and Tia Svoboda.
“We are a much more skilled and physically talented group than where we started the last quad and it is absolutely necessary to keep the top development players training and accessing the support of our centralized program,” Tait said.
“The returning players will enhance the skill sets and game understanding of our development players by training alongside them and my expectation is that those development athletes will in turn push those senior players for selection in the years ahead.”
Canada is coming off of the most successful period in program history, highlighted by its memorable bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics after a 33-10 win over Great Britain made history for the sport of rugby in Canada and globally.
In the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series’ four-year history, Canada has achieved three third place finishes in addition to a second place finish during the 2014-15 season. Canada has also won two cup titles (Amsterdam, 2015, Clermont, 2016) and is the defending Pan-Am Games gold medallist (Toronto, 2015).
In Canada’s 15 returning players, they have a combined 127 HSBC Women’s Sevens Series appearances. Landry’s 575 career points are second all-time while her 74 tries rank fourth.
“It’s very exciting to be looking ahead to Tokyo 2020 and the start of the next quad,” said Meaghan Howat, Rugby Canada’s Director of Rugby Sevens Operations. “We are delighted to have so many returning players from last season and looking forward to working with the new athletes joining the program and how they will develop over the coming years.
“It’s also important to thank our funding partners Sport Canada, Own the Podium and B2Ten for all of their continued support of our program. Additionally, the City of Langford and PISE continue to be critical supporters of our program and we’re extremely grateful for their support.”
For the third straight year, Canada will also return home for Canada Sevens as Vancouver Island will play host to the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series May 27-28.
-Rugby Canada files
Congrats to Irene Patrinos, Dria Bennett and Pam Buisa who were selected by Coach Jennifer Boyd to represent Canada at the FISU World University Sevens Championships in Wales. The team, made up entirely of players competing in Canadian University Sport, will look to defend the title it won in 2014 after beating France. The tournament runs July 7-9.
In the 10-team tournament, where there are two pools of five, Canada will take on China, Australia, Spain and Portugal in Pool B. The other five competing teams are hosts Great Britain, as well as New Zealand, France, Japan and Italy.
The entire tournament will be streamed LIVE with details to be announced in the lead-up to the competition.
Canada’s Women’s FISU World University Sevens Championship Day 1 Schedule:
Canada vs. Portugal – 4:50am ET/1:50am PT
Canada vs. Spain – 10:15am ET/7:15am PT
Canada’s Women’s FISU World University Sevens Championship Day 2 Schedule:
Canada vs. Australia – 5:40am ET/2:40am PT
Canada vs. China – 11:05am ET/8:05am PT
Tim Powers has played and volunteered for the Irish for many years. In addition to being a force in the pack, Tim has played to critical role in organizing many prestigious rugby events including the first Rugby on the Parliament Hill event in 2009 to support the Military Families Fund, as well as bringing many international and provincial level games to Ottawa. He has been on the Rugby Canada board since 2012 and was recently named the Chairman of the Board.
When he’s not playing or involved in rugby strategic planning, Tim is the Vice-Chairman of Summa Strategies, a leading Canadian public affairs consulting firm, and the Managing Director of Abacus Data, an opinion research company, both headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. Powers is also a media commentator, appearing frequently on CBC’s “Power and Politics”. He regularly reports for the “Voice of the Common Man” radio station and serves as a guest host. Additionally, he writes for the Hill Times newspaper.
The Irish wish him all the best with his newest appointment.