by Bryan Kelly
January 22, 2014, LANGFORD, BC (ISN) – Rugby Canada is pleased to announce the return of international rugby to Canada’s West Coast, with Canada’s Senior Men’s Team scheduled to take on Japan at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C. on June 7th, 2014.
The full IRB test match will be the first game the 2014 Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) where 15th ranked Canada will take on both Japan (14th) and the United States (18th) this June.
Canada is sure to be keen to take on the Japanese squad that was responsible for this country’s only defeat of the 2013 PNC series. Canada and Japan have a storied rivalry that dates back to an international tournament in 1932.
Compliments of Tourism Burnaby, extra seats will be added to the 4,500-seat stadium in Burnaby to accommodate the expected large crowd. Canada has not played Japan on home turf since 2000 in Markham, Ontario.
The international test match coincides with both the British Columbia Rugby Union and Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver’s 125 Anniversary celebrations. A number of other festivities and jamborees will surround the match, being held by the British Columbia Rugby Union and Rugby Canada.
Rugby Canada’s senior management have worked long and hard at the highest levels to secure the approval of a playing venue for IRB tests in the Vancouver area, and all are hugely excited that the passionate rugby community on Canada’s West Coast will be given the chance to support their national team in action this coming June.
Canada and London Irish back-row Jebb Sinclair knows the intense rivalry that exists between Canada and the 14th ranked Japanese team well; the two nations fought each other to a draw at the last two IRB World Cups. He is looking forward to the opportunity to take on the high-flying Japanese on home soil.
“Well, Japan has had our number over the last four or five tests. We’ve tied them twice at the last two World Cups. In 2011, we had to play some our best rugby in the last 15 minutes or so to come back to tie them. Sadly though, they’ve beat us twice as well. I’m looking forward to a long-awaited return fixture.
“With the time change and travel, Japan is a tough place to go and win and we haven’t played particularly well when we’ve gone there. I wasn’t part of the team that went to Japan last summer, but that loss cost us the Pacific Nations Cup title, so it was a tough pill to swallow.
“We’ve been a very different beast when playing in Canada and it’ll be exciting to get back to the Vancouver area and play a game on the West Coast. There’s been quite a rivalry building over the years with Japan, so it’ll be good to get our first win against them in a while on home soil!”
The Pacific Nations Cup is an important part of the IRB’s strategic development program for emerging rugby nations like Canada, Fiji Samoa and Japan, and this summer’s match at Swangard promises to be a hugely important moment for Canada, in the lead-up to the 2015 World Cup.
Now is the time for the West Coast arm of #REDNATION to turn Swangard Stadium in a fortress for Canada’s national team.
It is sure to be an incredible week of rugby.
Rugby Canada 2014 Schedule:
CANADA vs. JAPAN
Saturday, June 7th, 2014
Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, BC
CANADA vs. SCOTLAND
Saturday, June 14th, 2014
BMO Field, Toronto, ON
Canada’s Senior Men’s Fifteens Team is proudly sponsored by Trafigura.