Canada’s Ravens regroup after decision to postpone Rugby Union World Cup
Sixteen teams will battle for the men’s title with host England, defending champions Australia, New Zealand and Tonga leading each of the four groups.
Canada will join Australia, England, Brazil, Cook Islands, France, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in the women’s competition, which was scheduled to take place November 13-27.
“It will certainly be disappointing for all the players and staff who have worked so hard to prepare for the World Cup in November under extremely difficult circumstances,” said Canada’s women’s coach Mike Castle in an email.
âPersonally, I think this is a positive result for our team. Considering that sport across Canada has been restricted for the past 18 months, âadded the Australian coach. âThis decision gives us more time to prepare for what will be a fantastic event. “
Bob Jowett, president of the Canada Rugby League Association, agreed.
âMy immediate thought was that it was very, very disappointing,â he said in an interview in Manitoba. âWe were getting ready and we couldn’t wait to go. And everyone got on board. We have been very successful in obtaining sponsors.
Tournament organizers must now avoid a scheduling conflict with the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is slated for November 18 to December 21 in Qatar.
âThere are still concerns about what will happen next year,â Jowett said.
The Canadian women, known as the Ravens, are ranked fifth in the world. They were drawn into a pool with England (No.3), Papua New Guinea (No.4) and Brazil (No.13).
At the 2017 women’s tournament in Australia, a debutant team from the Ravens from Canada lost 50-4 to New Zealand before defeating Papua New Guinea 22-8 for their first-ever international victory. The Canadians finished the group stage with an 88-0 loss to Australia. They were then beaten again, 58-6, by Australia in the semifinals.
The Canadian women’s team recently held trials with Castle and the Canadians in hopes of playing an international game against the United States in October in Vancouver.
âAnother year gives more time to prepare and more time to evaluate players. And more time for players to get to where they might want to be physically and technically, âsaid Jowett.
The Canadian men, known as the Wolverines, failed to qualify for the tournament.
Rugby league is different from rugby union, the more popular of the two codes.
A rugby union team is made up of 13 players including four on the bench. Each team is only allowed six tackles (games) before the ball changes hands. A try is worth four points and a conversion two.
The rugby union teams are made up of 15 starters and eight substitutes. The game is more continuous and a try is worth five points and a conversion two.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 6, 2021
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press