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

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)

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

Just Posted

Hundreds of child care spaces will be available in Greater Victoria in the coming two years. (Unsplash)
More than 300 child care spaces opening in Greater Victoria in next two years

Province announces spaces in Victoria, Sooke, Saanich and North Saanich

Victoria Police Department vehicles outside the headquarters building. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police investigating sudden death in Beacon Hill Park

Police, paramedics responded to a report of an unresponsive person early Wednesday

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

Victoria police are investigating after several vehicles were smashed and a basement was flooded along lower Cook Street March 2. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police investigating smashed vehicles, flooded basement on Cook Street

Police seeking witnesses, footage of several ‘mischief’ incidents

This photo of Cheryl-Lynn Townsin and her daughter, Lexi, is part of Townsin’s documentary, RARE HUMANS - Turning Hope into Action, her capstone project for her graduate degree from Royal Roads University. (Photo courtesy of Cheryl-Lynn Townsin)
Greater Victoria mother’s grief fuels documentary of ‘Turning Hope into Action’

Lexi, 6, died in 2019 from Blau Syndrome and is among the children documented

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Missing woman’s remains recovered after Vancouver Island boat fire

Remains of a 60-year-old woman recovered after Feb. 27 boat fire took her life

COVID-19 vaccines were available at a site on East Pender in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Feb. 25. (Twitter/Sarahblyth17)
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents offered $5 after getting COVID-19 vaccine

It’s an effort to ‘incentivize people to engage,’ says B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. teacher transferred then suspended after students report feeling ‘scared, nervous’

Authorities found that teacher did not create inviting, respectful environment for students

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

Most Read