Canada's rugby team will kick off its World Cup against Italy on September 26. (Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

What are Canada’s chances in the Rugby World Cup?


The Rugby World Cup kicks off today in Japan with the host team’s victory over Russia, 30-10.

Canada, for their part, will start on September 26 against Italy, but expectations for this World Cup are rather low as the team found itself in a rather complicated group.

Two of the tournament’s favourites are in Canada’s pool this year: defending champion, New Zealand and South Africa.

Canadians ranked 22nd already struggled to qualify for the tournament, being the last to reach the 20 team competition. Only Namibia, ranked 23rd, is ranked lower.

But the team is determined to do its best with pride and commitment. Just look at them when they sing the national anthem – no team sings “O Canada” with more passion.

“It is an achievement to qualify for the World Cup but this is where it starts,” said coach Kingsley Jones. “We need to take part in it, not just be here.”

The team’s objective will be to reach at least the first round. They did so only once, in 1991, when they lost 29-13 to New Zealand in the quarter-finals.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hold rugby jerseys after exchanging them during a meeting at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada April 28, 2019. (Chris Wattie/REUTERS)

A complicated qualification

The Canadian team struggled to qualify for the tournament this time. It took them three tries until they made it to the competition. They won a repechage tournament against teams like Hong Kong, Germany and Kenya after losing the qualifying rounds to the United States and Uruguay.

However, by qualifying last, they found themselves in a very complicated group alongside New Zealand (2nd), South Africa (4th), Italy (14th) and Namibia (23rd).

In their history, the team has only won twice against Namibia and twice against Italy – but has also lost seven times against them.

“One does fear for the likes of Namibia and Canada in a pool with two of the tournament favourites, New Zealand and South Africa,” wrote England’s Daily Telegraph, noting the most lopsided World Cup beating came in 2003 when Australia beat Namibia 142-0.

After facing Italy, Canada will play New Zealand, South Africa and Namibia.

Canada’s average losing margin to New Zealand is 51.8 points.

But if the team can win against Italy and Namibia, they could finish third in their group and be assured of a place at the next World Cup. Only the first two in each pool reach the quarter-finals.

However, the team’s head coach has confidence in his team, “I think with our best group available we can challenge”.

The Welshman has good players at his disposal and a team with good potential.

We’ve just got to keep getting better and better right throughout this competitionKingsley Jones, Canada's head coach

Rugby Canada men’s national team Head Coach Kingsley Jones was introduced as the new coach of the team October 2017. (Darryl Dyck/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canada to mark a historic first in the history of world rugby

It is worth noting that the Canadian rugby team is also introducing major changes in the sport.

For the first time in the history of world rugby and the Rugby World Cup, its team manager Alana Gattinger will be the first woman to hold this position in the global tournament.

The 30-year-old from Whitby, Ontario served on Canada’s logistics team at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England and it was there that she set a goal to one day become team manager at the global event.

“I’m lucky that I work in Canada and live in a country where opportunities like this exist for women in sport.” Gattinger said in a Rugby Canada news release.

“It’s a testament to our union and our country. I am not treated any differently, and that’s exactly what I want. I hope this serves as an inspiration to young girls that anything is possible.”

Gattinger began as an intern with Rugby Canada in 2012 and served in numerous roles before finally working her way up to manage the Canadian senior men’s team that will embark on their eighth Rugby World Cup.

With files from Reuters and CBC

Categories: International
Tags: , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.


One comment on “What are Canada’s chances in the Rugby World Cup?
  1. Avatar Sports Fan says:

    Only the CBC could take a story about men’s sports and spin nearly half of the article to be about women. Can you clowns drop the virtue signalling sideshow just once?