Update on Men's Programs: U19, U20, Senior Men Tests and Tours
posted Dec 29 2016
[ed. comments below]
2017 looks like it will be the busiest in a while for the national age-grade programs.The U19 team is already in Chula Vista, California ready to take on their US counterparts tomorrow and Monday. News coverage has been sparse on the series with neither Rugby Canada or USA Rugby providing details on the most asked question, "will there be a live stream"? Parents on both sides of the border have been asking the question on social media. We do know the games kick-off at 1pm and further details are expected soon.
Reports we've heard also have the U19 team heading to Europe for games against England, Wales and Italy in early April. There's also mention of a Canada U18 tour to Europe plus the BC U18 tour to Ireland in 2017. These sort of tours are essential to get future Canada U20 teams at the level necessary to challenge for promotion to the top tier competition, the Junior World Championship.
Speaking of the Canada U20 team, the Tier 2 Junior World Trophy tournament will be their main focus this year. Normally the tournament is held April/May and the North America qualifier between Canada and USA is held Feb/March. This year however the tournament is being held late August, early September in Uruguay. This changes the dates of the qualifier and the latest we've heard is it will coincide with one of the senior men's June tests. The camps are also changed with Regional camps in a March/April timeframe and the main camp in a May/June scenario. We do know that the Canada v USA qualifier will be a two game, total points series unlike last year in Texas when it was a one game, winner take all match.
The senior men will likely have three tests, Georgia and Romania are confirmed and Samoa may be the 3rd. Venues are likely to be Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto so the U20 games may run the Monday and Friday prior to the senior men's match in one of these three cities. These details may change as things are very much up in the air but this is the latest we've heard.