ANNOUNCED: CANADA TO FACE SCOTLAND AT TORONTO’S BMO FIELD IN JUNE 2014
Jeff Hull, Rugby Canada Communications
TORONTO, ON – On the back of a string of outstanding contests at Toronto’s BMO Field in 2013, Rugby Canada is pleased to announce that it is returning to that outstanding facility once again, for a match against Scotland, in June of 2014.
The June 14th fixture will be part of the IRB’s strategic schedule for Tier Two nations, and will be a fantastic opportunity for Canadian rugby fans to see one of Europe’s great rugby nations take on Canada’s National Senior Men’s Team live on home soil.
Canada is set to face not one, not two, but three RBS Six Nations teams in Pool D at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, so this opportunity to face Scotland is sure to be one of the highlights of the 2014 Canadian rugby calendar.
As of today, Scotland sits in 9th place in the IRB’s global rugby rankings, while Canada occupies 14th position. If Toronto can deliver another near capacity crowd next summer, fans will be in position to possibly witness a famous Canadian victory, one that would do much to see vault this country up the IRB standings.
More than 20,300 screaming rugby fans witnessed Canada’s battle against World Cup pool opponents Ireland last summer, and with the enormous historical connection Toronto has to wave after wave of Scottish immigration, the summer of 2014 is sure to produce another colourful capacity crowd.
BMO Field also played host to Canada versus the New Zealand Maori All Blacks in front of a sold out crowd of 22,566 fans on Sunday, November 3. The record-breaking crowd was the largest in not only Canadian history, but also North American and BMO Field’s history also.
Canada winger and Sevens star Ciaran Hearn remembers the last time he stepped onto the field against the Scottish, during November of 2008 in Aberdeen.
“I was part of that team. I remember it was disappointing loss and it was very, very cold.
BMO is a great place to play. Having a place to call our home field is huge. We always relish games against top nations. It’s a time to test ourselves as a team against players who play at a high level every week”
The beautiful June weather on the shores of Lake Ontario is likely to provide a far different climate than that frozen evening in Aberdeen, where a much younger and less experienced group of Canadians fell 41 – 0 to Scotland’s men.
Tyler Ardron, who faces Scotland’s pros regularly in the RaboDirect Pro 12 is relishing the opportunity to confront the Scots on Toronto’s home turf. The Ontario native knows what this kind of home field advantage means.
“BMO is a great place to play in terms of it being state of the art and having all the things we need to play a good game, but that is really the least important thing about a stadium. Playing at BMO is a lot more than just a nice foundation, it's become our home ground and the crowd there is unbelievable.
Also for myself it's a great feeling to be able to play in front of so many of my friends and family.
The Scotland game is a great opportunity for us. We are always asking for games like this and getting rewarded with them shows that we are moving in the right direction. Its always going to be a tough game whenever we play a fully professional team, and Scotland will be no different. They have a lot of great players and will bring a very well structured game.
Playing in the Pro 12 has allowed me to see the Scottish teams play week in and week out. They are all very good rugby players, but I feel that we will be able to match them quite well.
I think physically and athletically we are very well matched and having them in Toronto will make for a very exciting game.”
While Rugby Canada is pleased to be returning to BMO Field for another season, fans on the West Coast should know that our commitment to bringing them a major international match has never been stronger.
Rugby Canada is continuing to work closely with the staff at BC Place and with the IRB, in order to try and bring that facility up to international standards.
So, as we get ready to close out a memorable 2013 rugby season with Canada’s November tour, Canadian supporters in Red Nation should know that more fantastic rugby action is coming their way in 2014.
Jeff Hull is a contributing writer for Rugby Canada.
Follow him on Twitter: @HullatHome
Rugby Canada 2014 Schedule:
CANADA vs. SCOTLAND
Saturday, June 14th, 2014
BMO Field, Toronto, ON