Canada’s Senior Men’s Rugby team will return to Alberta in June for international test matches against Georgia and Romania.
Dubbed the RISEAsOne Alberta Summer Series, Mark Anscombe’s team will face Georgia on June 10 at the Calgary Rugby Park before squaring off against Romania on June 17 at the Ellerslie Rugby Park in Edmonton.
“We’re excited to be returning to Alberta for two pivotal test matches in June,” said Rugby Canada CEO Allen Vansen. “Calgary were a stellar host last year and we’re looking forward to returning to Edmonton for the first time in more than four years. The passion of Albertan rugby fans is incredible and we’re excited to bring test rugby back to the province once again.”
The two matches come at a crucial time as Canada will begins its Road to The Rugby World Cup shortly after facing Georgia and Romania as they battle the USA in their 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifier with the aggregate winner across the two games securing a spot at the prestigious tournament in Japan. Since the inaugural tournament in 1987, Canada has competed in every edition of the Rugby World Cup.
“These two tests will be incredibly important as we prepare for our Rugby World Cup qualifier with the USA,” Anscombe said. “We’ll be facing two physically imposing teams that will provide us with some quality opposition. Both games will be great challenges for us before the two-game qualifying series.”
It marks the second straight year men’s test rugby heads to Calgary. Last year, Canada beat Russia 46-21 at the Calgary Rugby Park. Canada’s senior men’s team hasn’t played in Edmonton since May 2013 when Canada beat the USA 16-9 in the Pacific Nations Cup.
Canada is 3-2 all-time against Georgia. Their last meeting came in 2015 ahead of the Rugby World Cup with Canada securing a 16-15 victory. Canada last faced Georgia on home soil in 2012 in Burnaby with the hosts winning 31-12.
Romania has won the last five meetings with Canada having lost the first two encounters. Canada defeated Romania at both the 1991 and 1995 Rugby World Cup’s but hasn’t defeated Romania since. The sides last met in Bucharest in November with Romania holding on for a narrow 21-16 win.
Furthermore, Canada’s men’s U20 team will take on the USA in their two-legged World Rugby Trophy Qualifier in the lead up to the Romania match in Edmonton. The first leg will take place on June 13 in St. Albert with the pivotal second leg acting as the curtain raiser to the test match on June 17.
The RISEAsOne Alberta Summer Series precedes the annual Americas Rugby Championship, held in February and March, where Canada faces Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and the USA in test matches while also squaring off against Argentina in a non test match.
Further information on Canada’s 2019 Rugby World Cup qualification series with the USA will be released in the coming months.
Canada’s 2017 Senior Men’s Schedule:
Canada 6-20 Argentina XV — Feb. 4, Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC
Canada vs. Chile — Feb. 11, Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC, 8pm ET/5pm PT
Canada vs. USA — Feb. 18, Swangard Stadium, Langford, BC, 8pm ET/5pm PT
Uruguay vs. Canada — Feb. 25, Estadio Domingo Burgueno, Brazil
Brazil vs. Canada — March 3, Pacaembu Stadium, Uruguay
Canada vs. Georgia — June 10, Calgary Rugby Park, Calgary, AB
Canada vs. Romania — June 17, Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton, AB
Canada vs. USA — TBD
Canada vs. USA — TBD
Canada’s Men’s U20 Schedule:
Canada U20 vs. USA U20 — June 13, St. Albert Rugby Football Club, St. Albert, AB
Canada U20 vs. USA U20 — June 17, Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton, AB