Chris Long from Manawatu Buckethead to Canadian National Team
from Rugby Heaven
posted Sept 26 2012
Manawatu's latest rugby international isn't from the Turbos' squad but from the ranks of the supporters.
Manawatu bucketheads co-founder Chris Long has been selected for the Canadian national team.
Long is more than a sideline fan.
He has previously played for the Manawatu development XV and Old Boys-Marist as a lock-cum-blindside flanker, played in Ireland and in 2006 won the Manawatu club rugby best-and-fairest competition.
Earlier this year he was playing professionally for Italian first-division club, L'Aquila.
He has been in Canada for the past six weeks and played provincial rugby in Alberta.
From there, Canadian coach Kieran Crowley put him in his squad.
A week ago he played in the Canadian national championship for the Prairie Wolf Pack, the Alberta representative side, from Calgary.
Long returned to Palmerston North from Italy with a groin injury, when a tendon pulled away from the bone, after being tackled awkwardly in February.
It took him almost six months to recover so he was only able to train with OB-Marist late in the season.
Now 26, Long was born in Canada. The family lived there between 1985 and 1995 and all of the children were raised there.
The Longs now live at Rongotea.
Chris stopped off in Victoria, British Columbia, to visit his grandparents on his way back to Italy last year, met Crowley, and during a 10-day stopover played in a trial game.
His selection might see him play an upcoming match against Argentina, presumably without their Europe-based professionals, and the Canadians without theirs. Canada will also play the United States (for whom Turbos prop Eric Fry plays) and Uruguay in British Columbia.
Canada also have a tour to Britain in November where they will play Russia and Samoa in Wales and New Zealand Maori in Oxford. It is possible that Long might oppose Manawatu captain Nick Crosswell in that match.
Long started his rugby aged 11 at St Joseph's School in Feilding before pulling on the Te Kawau jersey and then heading to St Peter's College. While there, he was a No 8 and captain.
Chris Long for Maple Leafs vs Rock, May 2012
photo by Judy Teasdale
[ed. note, a reader sent this in.]
With regards to Chris Long. He was born in Nanaimo and moved to NZ when he was about 4 or 5 I believe. He returned to Nanaimo when he was in grade 11 on exchange and attended Dover Bay Secondary when it was still one of the stronger rugby schools on the island. He also toured with that same Dover Bay team to Australia the following year. Then a few years later in his early 20's Chris returned to Nanaimo (where his father was once the coach of the men's 1st XV) and was part of the Nanaimo squad which lost to Abbotsford in the Men's 1st div BC final after a historic win over the heavily favoured Cowichan in the semi finals. Chris has many close friends in Nanaimo from school and playing rugby there as well as his grandparents in Victoria.