Rugby Canada announces Hall of Fame Class of 2023
December 12, 2023 (Langford, BC) – Rugby Canada is pleased to announce the Hall of Fame class for 2023. Nine Canadian rugby icons will have their distinguished careers celebrated forever as they enter the Rugby Canada Hall of Fame.
Since the inaugural Class of 2016, the Rugby Canada Hall of Fame has recognized and welcomed the most dedicated and decorated members of Canada’s rugby community to its growing list.
The Rugby Canada Hall of Fame was established to honour and preserve rugby’s culture and heritage in Canada by recognizing the extraordinary achievements of rugby participants throughout our country.
“This year’s class of inductees to the Rugby Canada Hall of Fame showcases nine outstanding women and men who have brought honour and fame, on and off the field, to the history of rugby in Canada,” said Mike Luke, Chair Rugby Canada's Hall of Fame Project Team. “Their skills as former international rugby players and match officials, administrators and leaders in the game, has made them great contributors to Canada’s place in the world of rugby.”
Inductees will be celebrated at the 2024 HSBC Vancouver Sevens on Saturday February 24, 2024. Tickets for the HSBC Vancouver Sevens can be purchased at vansevens.com.
Please view a brief overview of the inductees below and click on the corresponding links to learn more about each inductee’s outstanding contributions to the sport of rugby in Canada.
CLASS OF 2023
KEITH WILKINSON – BUILDER
An accomplished coach and manager, Keith Wilkinson has served in various roles important to the growth and development of rugby in Canada at the international level. In 1989, he established the Rugby Canada Medical Science Committee along with Dr. P. Wiley. From 1991 to 1997, he served on the Rugby Canada board as National Teams Director, presenting papers and attending conferences in this role around the world in Argentina, the UK, France and South Africa, and attending the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
RICK BOURNE – BUILDER
Bourne has held several positions at the national and international levels, serving on Rugby Canada’s Board of Directors from 2003 to 2019, including five years as President. He was Canada’s Rugby Americas North representative from 2012 to 2019 and currently holds an active position on the board of HSBC Vancouver Sevens as well as director roles with the Canadian Rugby Foundation and the Canadian Rugby 7s Fund. He is a Canadian Rugby Foundation Contributing Member, having made over $25,000 in lifetime donations.
SHERRY TRUMBULL – MATCH OFFICIAL
During her career as an international match official, Sherry Trumbull was awarded 40 international refereeing appointments in the 15s game spanning from 2009-2016. Highlights from her career include officiating at the Women’s Six Nations from 2012-2016 and the Rugby World Cups in 2010 and 2014 where she took charge of the bronze medal Final.
ANDREA BURK – PLAYER
Born and raised in North Vancouver, BC, Andrea Burk represented Canada at the 2014 and 2017 Rugby World Cups and was part of the Canadian side that earned a silver medal in 2014, facing England in the final after a historic semi-final win over France. Burk earned a total of 38 caps throughout her international playing career, scoring eight tries, 37 conversions, and 15 penalty kicks for a total of 159 points.
JEN KISH – PLAYER
From Edmonton, Alberta, Jen Kish’s legacy makes her one of Canada’s most decorated rugby players. Kish captained Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team to a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the inaugural Olympic rugby sevens tournament. Over her career, Kish made a total of 134 appearances in the World Rugby Sevens Series from 2013 to 2018, scoring 34 tries for 170 points.
JULIANNE ZUSSMAN – PLAYER
As an international rugby player, Julianne Zussman earned a total of 44 caps over the span of her career, scoring a total of 18 tries, often running in the back three. She earned her first cap against Scotland in 2007 and played for Canada at the 2010, 2014 and 2017 Rugby World Cups, claiming a silver medal in 2014. she was named to the 2017 World Rugby Dream Team and was named the recipient of Rugby Canada’s Gillian Florence Award, a peer selected award given to the player who “best represents the qualities of Canadian rugby”.
MARK CARDINAL – PLAYER
Mark Cardinal played with the James Bay AA Rugby Club after graduating high school in 1979 until he hung up his boots in 1999. Cardinal’s career with Canada on the international stage was highlighted by three Rugby World Cup appearances in 1987, 1995 and 1999. During his time representing Canada, Mark earned a total of 46 caps, starting in 35 of the test matches he played.
MIKE JAMES – PLAYER
Mike James’ illustrious rugby career began at Burnaby’s Alpha Secondary School, where he started playing rugby in grade 11. Shortly after his international debut in 1994, James was named to his first Rugby World Cup. He went on to earn 57 caps all as starter, over 1994 to 2007 as Canada’s most-capped second row, playing in four Rugby World Cups (1995, 1999, 2003, 2007) and captaining the team four times between 2003 to 2007.
STEVE GRAY – PLAYER
Steve Gray earned 47 caps for Canada between 1984 to 1997, including famous Canadian wins against the likes of Scotland, Wales, England, Argentina and France. In 1987, Gray scored three tries in a test match against the United States. He played in three Rugby World Cups (1987, 1991, 1995) and was selected to Canada’s Men’s Sevens Team on multiple occasions, including the squad for the inaugural Rugby World Cup Sevens in 1993.
The process for an individual to be selected and inducted into the Rugby Canada Hall of Fame follows the Nomination, Selection and Recognition process which can be viewed HERE. Nomination and Terms of Reference PDFs are also located HERE.
ABOUT THE RUGBY CANADA HALL OF FAME
In October 2016, a nine-member ‘Ways and Means Committee’ was established to develop a plan to honour and preserve rugby’s culture and heritage in Canada by recognizing the extraordinary achievements of rugby’s participants throughout the country through the Awards and Recognition program. The Awards and Recognition Program and the Rugby Canada Hall of Fame recognize the efforts of those that have made a significant impact on the sport of rugby in Canada.
ABOUT RUGBY CANADA
ABOUT RUGBY ONTARIO
Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to lead, support and promote Rugby for All from communities to clubs to province. This mission signals a movement toward creating a more cohesive, supportive and progressive sporting environment that is responsive to the needs of all members.
To learn more, visit https://www.rugbyontario.com/
WANT MORE INFORMATION?