April 23, 2014, CALGARY, AB (ISN) – Rugby Canada is proud to announce that National Senior Men’s Manager and former Canadian captain Gareth Rees will be inducted into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary, Alberta in the class of 2014. This is a huge honor as Rees is the first rugby player to be selected for this award.
Rees was born in Duncan, British Columbia where he went to school at St. Michaels University School in Victoria and later at Harrow School in England. While studying at Harrow he was selected to the Wasps starting fifteen in what was then the John Player Cup final. He has played rugby at the club level with a number of teams including, the Castaways, Wasps, Harlequins, Merignac, Newport, Oxford University, Bedford and the Barbarians.
Rees has 55 caps for Canada, and captained them on 25 occasions, scoring 491 test points, he also played in all of the first four Rugby World Cup tournaments. He retired after the 1999 finals and became of a small group of players, including fellow Canadian Al Charron to have appeared in four World Cups.
In the 1995 World Cup Rees together with James Dalton and Rod Snow were sent off for fighting in a Canada versus South Africa match that came to be known as the Battle of Boet Erasmus. All three players received a 30-day suspension. Rees did not regret coming to the aid of his teammates, and said after the incident, “We’re a very tight team. The guys love each other.”
In October of 2011 Rees was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame, he and fellow inductee Brian Lima of Samoa are the first members of the IRB Hall from nations outside of the traditional top tier of the sport.
Now Rees is the first rugby player to be inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, and he couldn’t feel more honored.
“It is a huge honor to be inducted to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, and I want to thank all of the players, coaches, my family and everyone that supported me during my career,” Rees exclaimed.
Rugby Canada would like to congratulate Rees on this extraordinary accomplishment and is proud that he remains a part of the Rugby Community in Canada today.