Canada Prepare for Uruguay and ARC Tournament: Photos and Video Highlights from Camp
Canada are holding a local camp which includes enough invited players to create two teams. We took a look at the inter-squad game yesterday and posted video highlights below. On Friday a selected group whisk away to the UK for training with the pros in Europe. They have training setup with the Harlequins and a trial match against Oxford on the 17th, then fly back to BC for the start of the week to prepare for Uruguay on the 27th.
Uruguay on the other hand travel to Houston with a match against the MLR Houston Sabercats on the 20th and then come to Vancouver to prepare for the 27th.
It will be interesting to factor in the preparation schedule after the two game series is complete. Is Canada being clever in going to the UK for preparations or over complicating things and risking travel fatigue. Will the Uruguay v Houston match the weekend before the test prove useful to Uruguay?
A few notes from the inter-squad game. Tyler Ardron was present, he doesn't have to report to Super Rugby until after the test matches. The sevens program has lost the services of Connor Braid and Admir Cejvanovic for the duration of the XVs tests, whether that just includes the Uruguay matches remains to be seen. Loosehead prop Clint Lemkus was present and scored a great intercept try, he's not Canada eligible yet but hopefully will stick around for the Vancouver MLR team in 2019. from Rugby Canada
LANGFORD, BC – Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team gathered last week at the Home of Canadian Rugby in Langford, B.C. to continue preparations for the biggest series of a generation against Uruguay.
With all eyes on qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, World Rugby number 21st ranked Canada faces 18th seeded Uruguay in a winner-take-all two-match repechage qualifier to decide the Americas 2 position in Pool D. The series – which is based on aggregate points – gets underway January 27 at BC Place in Vancouver, before the finale is held February 3rd in Montevideo.
Along with the qualifiers, Canada will once again take part in the annual Americas Rugby Championship alongside Uruguay, USA, Chile, Brazil and Argentina XV. The Jan. 27 test match in Vancouver will open the competition, and then Canada will face USA on February 10th (Sacramento, California), Brazil on February 17th (TBD), Argentina XV on February 24 (Jujuy, Argentina) and Chile on March 3rd (Santiago, Chile).
Canada’s centralized athletes, along with invited players from across the country and available professional players, will spend five days working with staff in Langford after having a break over the holidays. Along with weights, video analysis, two-a-day on-field team practices and one-on-one skill development sessions, an inter-squad game will also be held on Monday, January 8th at Westshore RFC at 1:30pm.
“I’ve been really pleased coming in the last few days. To have 45 guys and a lot of new faces, right now is a chance for people to put their hand up and I’ve been really impressed by a lot of the players in the four days we’ve had together,” said Jones.
“We have had no rugby through the Christmas period, hence we’re now back into our intense training environment and hosting a competitive session on Monday,” added Jones.
Next Friday a group of selected players and staff will depart for London, England for a Regulation 9 training camp with Canada’s top professional players, who will be made available from their clubs. The camp will include a joint training schedule with the Harlequins, along with a controlled game against Oxford on the 17th.
“As a coach, you never have enough time to prepare and you want as much time with the players as you can. It’s not very often you get your best 25 players together.
“The London trip is a great opportunity for us to get our entire team of domestic players and professionals together. Not only about the technical and tactical stuff, it’s about the culture of the team and making sure we do some team building together as a group before the qualifiers and Americas Rugby Championship,” added Jones.
“We’ve arranged training with London Harlequins and a hit-out against Oxford University, which will be important for the guys get use to the collisions and intensity. We feel reasonably fresh, and obviously fresh of mind but it’s just making sure we can hold up to 80 minutes of intensity.”
Canada will then gather in Vancouver, B.C. on Sunday, January 21st for their test match prep week and then leave for Uruguay on January 28th.
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Canada’s 2018 Americas Rugby Championship & RWC Qualifier schedule:
Canada vs. Uruguay
January 27th at 5pm local time
BC Place, Vancouver, BC
Rugby World Cup Qualifier round 1 and ARC match 1
Canada vs. Uruguay
Rugby World Cup Qualifier round 2, not an ARC match
Canada vs. USA
February 10th at 3pm local time
Canada vs. Brazil
Date & kick off TBD
Canada vs. Argentina XV
February 24th at 8pm local time
Canada vs. Chile
March 3rd at 1pm local time
La Pintana, Santiago, Chile