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

Extreme Weather Protocol kicks in as cold night forecast for Victoria

A total of 472 shelter spaces open across Greater Victoria

Oak Bay’s only candy shop closing for good on Friday

Sweet Delights Candy Store going out of business

Significant donation boosts Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s most ambitious fundraising campaign

Townline’s $600,000 donation helps purchase new 3 Telsa MRI for Royal Jubilee Hospital

Saanich police search for alleged UVic Bookstore thief

Anyone who recognizes the man is asked to contact police

Rickter Scale: Early morning ear worm resonates

The Rickter Scale is a regular column

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

Island wildlife rescue centre sees 9 poisoned birds since January

MARS trying to fundraise for ‘rigorous and expensive’ lead poisoning treatment

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

VIDEO: Knife-wielding man arrested after barricading himself in Lower Mainland Walmart

A man had barricaded himself in the freezer section of the fish area at a Walmart in Richmond

Most Read