From The Editor’s Desk – Collegiate Rugby Webinar with Adam Roberts; Men’s XVs Matches in November; Rugby World Cup to 24 Teams in 2027; Kingsley Jones Contract Extension?
There are a variety of rugby topics coming across the Editor’s desk in the last couple of days. We’ll start with something local.
Adam Roberts runs an annual Collegiate Rugby Webinar where he puts together rugby athletes in the grade 10 to 12 age group (and their families) with university rugby programs. He also brings in a College Rugby Advisory consultant to explain the landscape. The poster below has the details, he’s adding more university programs but currently UBC, UVic, TWU, UBCO, Western Washington, Central Washington, Guelph, UPEI are signed up.
Men’s XVs Program
Bryan Ray and Americas Rugby News seem to be the only North American source of these matches as neither Rugby Canada, USA Rugby or World Rugby have any information posted. Canada will play a 2 game tournament with their first game November 11th against hosts Spain and then, depending on that result, on November 18th will play the winner/loser of USA v Brazil. More details at Americas Rugby News.
2027 World Cup to 24 Teams
The Guardian had this as their headline, “World Rugby to reject plate competition for emerging nations at World Cups – Calls have been growing for parallel knockout competition – Tournament will be expanded to 24 teams in 2027”. They’re usually a pretty reliable source, the article goes on to state, “it will be formally agreed before the end of this tournament that 24 teams will be involved in Australia, opening the way for Spain, the United States, Canada and, potentially, either Hong Kong China or Brazil to feature in four years’ time.” More details at The Guardian.
Kingsley Jones Contract
This has been a hot topic since Canada missed the World Cup for the first time in its history. The USA parted company with its coach Garry Gold in December 2022 after they failed to make the World Cup, Canada were eliminated before that in October 2021 and yet have failed to take any action 2 years later. It’s a sore spot with the Canadian rugby community. All fingers point to the CEO Nathan Bombrys, if you ask anyone at Rugby Canada, they’ll say “ask Nathan”. We did by the way, today by email with an option for a phone follow up. We’ll see if anything materializes. Bryan Ray posted today that Rugby Canada’s stance is “we’ll be putting out an update on our men’s program coaches later this fall.”
As for the new guy, the High Performance Director, Stephen Aboud, it seems he’s been busy with high level meetings with all the major players impacting Rugby Canada funding which would include OTP, Olympics, World Rugby. The men’s XVs program specifically doesn’t seem an urgent priority. There’s a Strategic Plan that’s being circulated to key individuals in country and out, apparently it will be tabled to the Provincial Unions in November and then launched after that.
My impression is the question about the men’s XVs head coach and the contract lands squarely at the feet of the CEO, Nathan Bombrys. It seems to be mainly his decision. All the information we’ve heard to date indicates Kingsley Jones contract would have ended post World Cup, where Canada were expected to be present. If he continues past the World Cup he’s either not under contract or the contract has been extended. Hopefully Rugby Canada will provide some clarity on this.