ARC to cap breakthrough year for rugby
Rugby Canada will host the IRB Americas Rugby Championship 2013 in October at a time when the sport is enjoying unprecedented interest and growth in North America.
Hot off the back of Canada’s qualification for Rugby World Cup 2015, the four-team six-match IRB-funded international representative tournament will be hosted at the Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence in Langford, British Columbia, between October 11 and 19.
Once again, the competition will be stiff as the hosts face USA Select, defending champions the Argentina Jaguars and Uruguay.
While silverware is the ultimate goal, the competition will play an important role in preparation for a full schedule of November Tests for each of the participating Unions.
Boosted by Olympic Games inclusion and strong IRB support, Rugby in North America is on the rise and the region continues to attract new participants in record numbers, commercial partners and broadcasters.
America has experienced a 25 per cent increase in Rugby participation and USA Rugby has exposed one million boys and girls to the IRB Development Award-winning Rookie Rugby programme.
IRB Regional General Manager for North America and Caribbean, Tom Jones said: “The IRB is committed to driving forward Rugby in North America. Targeted investment programmes, a structured competition schedule with Canada and USA competing in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup for the first time in 2013, the Americas Rugby Championship and an exciting Tier Two schedule means that Canada and USA are getting exposure to more regular and competitive matches.”
“That in turn is attractive to broadcasters and sponsors and exciting for audiences as we are welcoming teams to our shores such as Ireland in June and the Maori All Blacks who arrive in November when Canada and USA will also play the best in Europe.”
“Canada and the USA have also embraced the opportunity that Olympic inclusion has given this sport. Canada has secured government support and both Unions have National Olympic Committee support. They are attracting new boys and girls to the sport in record numbers for Fifteens and Sevens.”
“Both are on upward performance curves in men’s and women’s Sevens and Fifteens programmes. And excitingly, they have a genuine opportunity to win a medal in Sevens at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
“Rugby is a sport that continues to break new frontiers and bring people together through the character-building values of solidarity, passion and respect. These two nations have been at the fore of that movement.”
IRB Americas Rugby Championship 2013 fixtures
18:00 - USA Select v Argentina Jaguars
20:00 - Canada A v Uruguay
18:00 - Uruguay v Argentina Jaguars
20:00 - Canada A v USA Select
15:00 - Uruguay v USA Select
17:00 - Canada A v Argentina Jaguars