Rugby Canada Qualifies for the 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup


    Rugby Canada is incredibly pleased that our Men’s Fifteens team has qualified for the 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.  First and foremost, we want to extend a huge congratulations to the players, coaches, and staff who have been working tirelessly to achieve this important result.  All of Canada has been behind this team, and we could not be more pleased for this dedicated group to have achieved this result.

    “Indeed, this is a critically important result for Canadian Rugby and we could not be more pleased with the commitment and dedication of these players, coaches and staff under Kingsley’s leadership in delivering this result,” stated Allen Vansen, Chief Executive Officer of Rugby Canada.

    The Men’s Fifteens program was provided a much needed infusion of financial support from the registered members across the country to put in place a robust preparation plan that prepared them for this tournament.

    “We extend a heartfelt thank you to the 30,000+ registered members, the 250+ clubs and our 10 Provincial Rugby Unions who supported this team through an increase in their national registration fees earlier in 2018,” noted Tim Powers, Chairman of the Rugby Canada Board of Directors. “This result reflects the passion Canadians have for Rugby.  Canadians from coast to coast to coast will be cheering on this team in Japan next fall.”

    Rugby Canada has made significant changes in our structure, and our talent pool, to mitigate the chances of having to qualify via this route again.  We have world leading staff and coaches that are committed to building from this momentous result to ensure we are better prepared for the 2023 Men’s Rugby World Cup qualification process.

    “While we celebrate today’s important achievement we recognize there is much work still ahead to ensure Canadian rugby stays globally competitive. From the establishment of the Al Charron National Training Centre, the new integrated centralized training model with more players, and world leading staff and coaches – we are keenly focused on ensuring the future of Canadian Rugby is strong and that our National Teams remain competitive on the international stage,” continued Vansen.

    Rugby Canada’s Men’s Fifteens team will now join defending Rugby World Cup champions New Zealand in Pool B alongside South Africa, Italy, and Namibia for the 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup being held in Japan next fall.


    A passionate performance, Canada battled through the wet conditions and offensive efforts of Hong Kong to secure a spot in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

    Ray Barkwill opened up the scoring for Canada followed by DTH van der Merwe who chased down the blocked kick and dotted down for a try. Gordon McRorie made both conversions and put Canada up 14-3 at the half.

    McRorie came back from a yellow card in the first to add on six points in penalty kicks for Canada, widening their lead 20-10.

    van der Merwe then scored his second of the match in beautiful fashion, beating three defenders to touch down for a try in the corner. Adding on the conversion from McRorie, Canada officially booked their ticket to Japan 2019 with a final score of 27-10.

    Canada’s roster against Hong Kong:

    1. Hubert Buydens – NOLA Gold/Prairie Wolf Pack (Saskatoon, SK)
    2. Ray Barkwill – Seattle Seawolves/Ontario Blues (Niagara Falls, ON)
    3. Matt Tierney – Pau/Ontario Blues (Oakville, ON)
    4. Mike Sheppard – Stoney Creek Camels/Ontario Blues (Brampton, ON)
    5. Evan Olmstead – Auckland/Prairie Wolf Pack (Vancouver, BC)
    6. Kyle Baillie – Westshore RFC/Atlantic Rock (Summerside, PEI)
    7. Lucas Rumball – Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues (Mississauga, ON)
    8. Tyler Ardron – Chiefs/Ontario Blues (Lakefield, ON)
    9. Phil Mack – Captain,Seattle Seawolves/BC Bears (Victoria, BC)
    10. Gordon McRorie – Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary, AB)
    11. DTH van der Merwe – Glasgow Warriors (Victoria, BC)
    12. Ciaran Hearn – London Irish/Atlantic Rock (Conception Bay South, NL)
    13. Ben LeSage – UBC Thunderbirds/Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary, AB)
    14. Taylor Paris – Castres Olympique/Ontario Blues (Barrie, ON
    15. Theo Sauder – UBC Thunderbirds/BC Bears (Vancouver, BC)
    16. Eric Howard – NOLA Gold/Ontario Blues (Ottawa, ON)
    17. Djustice Sears-Duru – Unattached/Ontario Blues (Oakville, ON)
    18. Jake Ilnicki – Yorkshire Carnegie/BC Bears (Williams Lake, BC)
    19. Brett Beukeboom – Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues (Lindsay, ON)
    20. Matt Heaton – Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock (Godmanchester, QC)
    21. Jamie Mackenzie – Balmy Beach/Atlantic Rock (Oakville, ON)
    22. Nick Blevins – Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary, AB)
    23. Conor Trainor – USON Nevers/BC Bears (Vancouver, BC)