Canada Sevens Update - November 2018

November 02 2018

Player Dispute Update - Players Return to Training but Everything Not Sorted

by BCRN Sevens Correspondent
[ed. talking to people close to the action the feeling is there is a job to do, let's get on with it but there's still lingering resentment towards RC in the way they treated the players. From the player's perspective there are many details still to iron out but they immensely appreciate the rugby community support. ]

This past Wednesday the National Sevens Team began showing up at the Langford training centre for their pre-season medicals prior to resuming practices the next day.

Almost immediately the rugby union put out a website posting to indicate that the ‘dispute’ had been resolved - the press release was short and without substance or detail.

Appropriately - the release did thank some individuals who apparently had a averted a major embarrassment for the union with Dubai immediately on the horizon and a pool assignment for Canada already in place. Not showing up in Dubai or showing up with a third grade maple leafs team would have been a disaster with long term consequences for the union.

In review – one has to ask what has been achieved in the short term and even more to the point the long term consequences of this dispute…

In an age where there are so many vehicles and ways to communicate – this dispute has been a nightmare to navigate with rumors, ‘fake facts’ and accusations circulating across the country – all causing mistrust and immense bitterness.

The breaking point has long since passed and complete recovery seems improbable in any shape or form.

The national union may have got the players back to the training centre for their ‘physicals’ but that is only a minor achievement when you take into consideration the mindset these players now have as they return to the rigors of the Dubai preparation.

Massive damage has been done and the dismissive attitude of union towards the player’s requests may never heal until there is a determination by those in charge to clean house and rid the union of those who are more interested in their pay cheques than they are about what happens on the field – it’s almost a genetic trait now as it has been going on for years… and years!

In the middle of all this turmoil is the gifted and talented coach who has inherited two work stoppages – neither of which had anything to do with him.
Clearly he has some massive challenges immediately in front of him and now has the collective psyche of the squad to mend and get into ‘game-shape’ before the circuit starts at the end of this month.

In the coming days some clarity and reliable detail may emerge about the settlement - and while the union may feel they have won this battle it is certain that they will never win the war until they approach these issues from field-level and the player’s perspective instead of a board room mentality.

Dubai is next – stay tuned: Good luck to the Canada players!

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

from Rugby Canada

November 1, 2018 - Langford, BC: Rugby Canada announced today that an agreement has been reached between the Canada Men’s Sevens players and Rugby Canada.

The men’s 7s players have returned today to the Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre, and resumed training and preparation for the 2018-2019 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series that begins in Dubai on November 30, 2018.

“We greatly appreciate the passion and commitment the players have shown throughout this process in their drive to be a competitive international Men’s 7s team,” said Allen Vansen, CEO, Rugby Canada. “We fully support their goals of achieving unprecedented success on the World Rugby Sevens Series, and qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games.”

“We would like to thank the Men’s 7s players representative, Mel Reeves, for his assistance on the players behalf in reaching this agreement,” continued Vansen, “and would also like to express our appreciation to Mike Holmes, Mark Wyatt and Doug Tate for their assistance throughout the last few weeks in helping the players and Rugby Canada reach this agreement.”

The new Player Agreements will be effective dating back to October 1, 2018.

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