rugby canada

August 21, 2013, RICHMOND HILL, ON (ISN) – Rugby Canada, on behalf of its Board Members and provincial unions, is proud to announce the appointment of former NHL General Manager and New England rugby player Brian Burke to its Board of Directors.

Following graduation from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Burke became a National Hockey League (NHL) Player agent before becoming General Manager for the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs. Burke won a Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Ducks and was the General Manager of the silver-medal winning USA Men’s Hockey Team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.

While few in North America can best Burke’s hockey resume, his rugby history is impressive and relatively unknown to Canadian media and rugby fans.

burke rugby
Former NHL GM Brian Burke (second from left) is joining the Board of Directors of Rugby Canada (Photo: Rugby Canada)

“Brian has a deep understanding of professional sports in North America and, with his successes and contacts across the National Hockey League and beyond, we’re happy to have him involved with Rugby Canada,” said Graham Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Rugby Canada.

“We look forward to working with Brian in the build-up to our men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups and Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,” Brown added.

A dual citizen of USA and Canada, Burke played five years of rugby as a prop for Harvard Business School Rugby Football Club (HBSRFC) in the New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) and is a passionate supporter of Canadian Rugby.

“When I was at Harvard in my first year of my Law Degree I used to walk by the rugby field and I asked around if I could join this exciting game and started shortly after,” said Burke during Rugby Canada’s Hawksworth Dinner earlier in 2013.

Pat Quinn hired Burke in 1987 as the Director of Hockey Operations for the Vancouver Canucks and, upon travelling to Canada’s West Coast, Burke was introduced to Canadian rugby.

“I played five years in New England and I thought that was good competition until I moved to Vancouver and saw club rugby in BC and how good it was.”

“I am excited and honoured to join Rugby Canada’s Board of Directors and to help grow the game of rugby in Canada,” said Burke.

The role of Board of Directors is to oversee all aspects of Rugby Canada, ensuring the direction taken by it’s staff and provincial unions continues to promote and strength the sport for men, women and supporters in Canada.