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Rugby Canada – Canada’s Men’s Fifteens Team is set to ‘Rise As One’ against Japan, Russia and Italy at BC Place, Calgary Rugby Park and BMO Field as part of annual June International Series
 
LANGFORD, BC — Rugby Canada is pleased to announce that international test match rugby returns in 2016 as Canada is set to ‘Rise As One’ against Japan, Russia and Italy in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.
 
History will be made at BC Place on June 11th as this world-class venue in downtown Vancouver hosts 19th seeded Canada against 10th ranked Japan. Canada has never played in this venue and looks to build on the sell-out crowd at Canada Sevens in March. Japan is coming off of a thrilling Rugby World Cup where they knocked off rugby powerhouse South Africa in the pool stages and have begun preparations as they host the 2019 edition of the tournament.
 
A week later test match rugby returns to Calgary for the first time since 2005 as Canada will face 18th ranked Russia at the Calgary Rugby Park on June 18th.
 
The June series finishes in Toronto on June 26th with a Rugby World Cup rematch against Italy at BMO Field in Toronto and marks the sixth straight year the facility will host test match rugby.
 
“These are crucial matches for Canada and a great opportunity for the players and new coach to come together and test themselves at the highest level,” said Gareth Rees, Rugby Canada’s Director of Commercial and Program Relations. “The Japan match is particularly meaningful as they are Canada’s traditional rivals and presents the opportunity to compete against them in the confines of the fabulous BC Place. This venue is potentially the future home of rugby on the west coast and the players are relishing the opportunity.

“This game wouldn’t be possible without the support from Sport Hosting Vancouver and we’re thankful for their help in bringing test rugby to the City of Vancouver and a world class venue in BC Place.”
 
June’s game against Japan will be the 25th time the two sides have met with Canada holding an 8-14-2 record. They most recently met last summer in the opening fixture of the Pacific Nations Cup with Japan winning 20-6 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California.
 
Canada has not beaten Japan since May 2005 when they collected a 15-10 win in Tokyo as part of the Toshiba Super Cup where debutants Dean van Camp and Brodie Henderson each scored a try. Since then, the two sides have met seven times including at the 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cup’s where they played to 12-12 and 20-20 draws respectively.
 
Canada heads into its summer program after an important 2016 Americas Rugby Championship campaign. They have registered wins over Uruguay and Brazil and for many national team observers, re-established a gritty Canadian style under interim head coach Francois Ratier. Canada concludes its ARC campaign on Saturday against Chile in Santiago.
 
A number of domestic players thrived in the test match rugby environment during the ARC and those performances have put them in contention for selection this summer along with a number of Canada’s returning overseas professionals.
 
In three previous contests, Canada has never lost to Russia. The two sides first met in Burnaby in 2009 with Canada winning 22-3 before picking up a 34-18 win in Esher, England, as part of the 2011 Churchill Cup. Their most recent match-up came in 2012 when Canada won 35-3 in Wales as part of their November tour where Okotoks, AB., native Jeff Hassler had a pair of tries.
 
“We’re also incredibly excited to return to Calgary for test match rugby,” Rees said. “We saw last year the local passion for rugby during the Canadian Rugby Championship Final and Women’s Rugby Super Series when more than 5,000 fans were in attendance.

“We also want to thank Tourism Calgary who have provided us with fantastic resources and support to bring this game to their wonderful city and for that we are truly grateful.”
 
Canada and Italy have met eight times since their inaugural clash in 1983 with Canada winning twice. Italy has won the last five matchups – including a 25-16 victory at BMO Field in June of 2012 – and are currently ranked 14th in the world.

“This will be Canada’s first opportunity to play at BMO since the stadium enhancements,” Rees said. “It is always a great experience for fans and the team is motivated to set the record straight after our last loss against Italy at BMO and the most recent Rugby World Cup match which most feel was a missed opportunity for an upset.”
 
Tickets for all three games will go on sale to the general public on March 10th at events.rugbycanada.ca. Tickets for the Italy game will be available at 10am ET/7am PT while tickets for the Russia game go on sale at 12pm ET/9am PT. Tickets for the historic match at BC Place will be available at 1pm ET/10am PT.
 
 
Canada’s Men’s Fifteens 2016 Confirmed Schedule:
 
Americas Rugby Championship
 
Canada 33-17 Uruguay — February 6th
Canada 22-30 USA — February 13th
Canada 52-25 Brazil — February 20th
Canada 21-54 Argentina XV — February 28th
Canada vs. Chile — March 5th
 
June Summer Series
 
Canada vs. Japan — June 11th
BC Place, 6pm ET/3pm PT
 
Canada vs. Russia — June 18th
Calgary Rugby Park, 5pm ET/2pm PT
 
Canada vs. Italy — June 26th
BMO Field, 12pm ET/9am PT

November Tour
 
Canada vs. Ireland – November 12th
Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland

About Rugby Canada

Rugby Canada is the national governing  body  of  the  sport  of  rugby  union  in Canada.  Rugby Football has a  long  history  in  Canada  dating  back  to  its  initial appearance in the 1860s. Since 1974, Rugby Canada has been a permanent fixture on  the  global  rugby  scene,  including  trips  to  each  of  the eight Men’s Rugby  World Cups and seven Women’s Rugby World Cups. As a regular on the Men’s and Women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Canada continues to climb the world rankings and challenge the dominant rugby nations in both versions of the game.

To support the growth of rugby at the grass-roots level and to ensure there are elite programs for prospering young rugby players to become involved with, Rugby Canada has put an emphasis on developing its junior programs.  Our goal is to develop and train competitive teams for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland and 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan. 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/RugbyCanada

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RugbyCanada

YouTube: www.youtube.com/RugbyCanada

Instagram: www.instagram.com/RugbyCanada  

Website: www.rugbycanada.ca 

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For more information, please contact:

Bryan Kelly, Rugby Canada

Manager, Communications and Media Relations

Phone: 250-216-5272

Email: bkelly@rugbycanada.ca