Canucks celebrate 'The Beardos'
WAITANGI, Sept 7. - There was nothing co-ordinated about the way Canada forwards Adam Kleeberger, Hubert Buydens and Jebb Sinclair went about cultivating their impressive beards.
But now the trio's facial hair has acquired cult status in the team and they are under orders it isn't to go until after the World Cup.
"Once we sort of started getting some media attention, well it's become a little bit bigger than we ever expected," Sinclair said.
Buydens has never played rugby clean-shaven, but when he and Sinclair went to Wales to play for RGC 1404 in Colwyn Bay under Canada's defence coach Clive Griffiths this year he decided to let his beard grow longer. Then Sinclair joined in, for no good reason.
"It was cold, I was bored, so I kind of stopped shaving and then after three months I kind of had this great growth, so thought I might stick with it," Sinclair said.
While the pair were letting their beards grow, Kleeberger independently decided to do the same thing.
"I don't really have a reason for it, I just started after I had my shoulder surgery in February," he said. "Then I thought there are a lot of guys out there who can't grow a beard like this, so that I would do it on their behalf."
When the three were reunited at a Canadian training camp in July, they suddenly became known as "The Beardos". This week in New Zealand they have gathered extra attention wherever they've gone, with Kleeberger's luxuriant growth usually the most commented upon.
"He's been getting 'Teen Wolf', 'The Lion', 'Lion King'. Also, from Happy Gilmore when he hires that homeless guy as his caddie and he strips off to shower in the water hazard - he's been getting compared to that," Canada captain Pat Riordan said. "It would be nice if it was a bit distracting for the opposition but sometimes I think it's more for us."
But Sinclair and Kleeberger have vowed to shave their beards after Canada's interest in the tournament ends.
"It's going as soon as I step off the plane from New Zealand," Sinclair said.
"I need my face back," Kleeberger added.