International rugby rivals clash on Queen’s field
Richardson Stadium will come alive Saturday afternoon as Canada faces the United States in an international rugby match. The premiere event, a test match between the two national men’s teams, is expected to draw a crowd of 6,000 from all over the world.
“We are excited to support this high-calibre international sporting event, which promises to raise the profile of Kingston and Queen’s,” says Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “Events such as these have the potential to grow the already-thriving rugby communities in the local area and at the university.”
Canada and the U.S. are closely matched – Canada is ranked 13th in the world, the U.S. 17th – and local organizers expect the match between the long-time archrivals will draw many fans from both sides of the border.
“We hope that being so close to the U.S. border will make for an exciting game, drawing each team’s fans to come out and support their team in what promises to be a real battle,” said John Phelan, head of the local organizing committee and former member and captain of the Canadian National Rugby team.
Saturday’s game, which over 200 local volunteers worked to make possible, is part of a three-game series of international rugby test matches hosted by Rugby Canada this month. The Canadian men will play Italy on June 15 at BMO Field in Toronto, and on June 23 they play Georgia in Burnaby, B.C.