Upright Rugby Academy Win First Match in UK - Tour Update
by Tyler Leggatt
Amidst partially sunny skies and cooler climes in the northeast part of London, England, Upright Rugby took to the field against Wansted RFC. This was first match in Upright’s first ever 15s rugby tour, a team which is comprised of a mix of players primarily based in Oakville, Ontario, where many of them train with the Upright Rugby Academy nearly year-round.
The boys definitely showed off their skill and talent to move the ball thanks, in large part, to the efforts of notable coach, and former Toronto Arrow’s player, Jamie MacKenzie. Jamie has spent almost ten weeks with this group as part of Upright Winter Rugby Academy in order to best prepare them for this inaugural opportunity.
The final score of the match was 18 to 5 for Upright over Wansted with honourable mention going to Canada U18 prospect, Quinn Foley, and Man of the Match, Matthew Carroll, both from Abbey Park High School in Oakville.
Looking ahead, Upright will next face Tynedale RFC in Newcastle in three days time, before heading onto Edinburgh to play the highly reputable, Edinburgh Academy side to conclude their ten day tour.
This serves as a great expansion for Upright Rugby and their Academy program who traditionally focus on 7s. Head coach and Director of Rugby, Tyler Leggatt has acknowledged the increasingly important value of providing opportunities for kids to play more 15s as well as 7s. “It is of critical important for Canadian teams and clubs to travel abroad in order to play more rugby against a higher level of competition while reinforcing the culture and traditions of rugby across the globe.”
With the constraints of geography and such a limited window to play in Canada due to our harsh Canadian winters, it is abundantly clear that Upright Rugby has the right idea in order to grow the sport at the grassroots level. While many remain focused on our provincial and national teams, it seems that rugby in Canada still needs the private academies like Upright Rugby, MacDowell Academy, and others that may follow suit in order to grow the game.