Dates for U18 & U19 Spring Tours to Europe Announced
posted Jan 5 2017
from Rugby Canada
Canada’s men’s U18 and U19 programs will head to France and Wales respectively this year for two high-profile tournaments.
The U18 squad will take part in the eight-team Rugby Europe U18 Open Championships 2017. The tournament will also feature hosts France, Georgia, Japan, USA, Portugal, Belgium and Spain.
The U19 competition includes England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy.
"Securing these matches is a major step forward for both programs,” said Rugby Canada’s Coordinator of National Player Development & Talent ID Ken Goodland. “The players will be tested at the highest level and we look forward to going over there and proving Canadians can play rugby.
“The next goal is to secure these tournaments for a number of years so we continuously provide top level competition for our athletes. It is imperative for our long term success that our young athletes be exposed to international rugby on a regular basis so they are prepared mentally and physically for its demand when they reach the senior team.”
The two tournaments will take place in April with the U19 competition having game days on April 8, 12 and 16. The U18 tournament begins April 7 with two more games on April 11 and 15. Canada will face Georgia in its opening game. The rest of the schedule is result dependent.
“Being given the opportunity to play full international rugby against some of the best teams in the world is a fantastic opportunity for our athletes and staff to be tested at the highest level,” said Canada’s men’s U19 head coach Dean Murten. “To play the Irish provinces earlier this year was a great way to develop our athletes but now moving into full international rugby is an even bigger challenge and a fantastic opportunity to develop the athletes.
“I believe this opportunity will also help those that move on to Canada’s U20 program and the Junior World Trophy.”
Canada’s U18 program faced off against Connacht, Leinster and Munster last April losing all three games by just a combined 14 points while showing strong defensive abilities and a swift attack.
“Competing in the European Championship will allow our emerging athletes to test themselves against some of the best players in the world,” said Canada’s men’s U18 head coach Mike Curran. "Our players need exposure to the highest level of rugby on a regular basis. Participation in the European Championship provides these athletes that opportunity."
Kickoff times and streaming details will be announced closer to the competition.
Rugby Europe U18 Open Championships 2017
Canada vs. Georgia — April 7, 2017
Canada vs. TBD — April 11, 2017
Canada vs. TBD — April 15, 2017
Canada vs. TBD — April 8, 2017
Canada vs. TBD — April 12, 2017
Canada vs. TBD — April 16, 2017