During halftime of the very wet Russia/Canada game this past weekend at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC, the Canadian Rugby Foundation was very fortunate to be able to “officially” cap 4 Canadian players that proudly wore the maple leaf on their chest in the past.
John Cannon, Garth Cooke, Ian Kennedy and David Speirs braved the elements to be presented their cap from Rugby Canada’s Chairman of the Board, Rick Bourne and the Canadian Rugby Foundation’s Executive Director, Matthuw Ronald-Jones.
Former Rugby Canada Team Manager, Don Whidden wrote a short pen sketch of each of the player’s rugby history which was shared with the 3000+ rugby fans in attendance:
John was the winner of thirty-one caps. He played virtually all of his International rugby in the centres. He started his Club rugby playing for Abbotsford RFC. He moved to Victoria after high school in 1998, playing one year for the Castaway Wanderers and then two more with the Pacific Pride. John debuted for his country May 19, 2001, in Kingston, against the U.S.A, in the PARA tournament. He moved to play professionally in the UK soon after, splitting 7 years between Rotherham, Coventry and Doncaster. There, opposing coaches voted him onto the league XV on two separate occasions. He played against New Zealand and Italy in the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
Garth played for Canada on twenty-five occasions. He made his debut on May 20, 2000, against Tonga in Vancouver, a 29 – 11 win for Canada. Garth played tight-head prop and he played his Club rugby for the Castaway Wanderers in Victoria. He also participated in the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia against New Zealand, Wales and Tonga. He played three years, for the Pacific Pride. Garth also played professionally for Stade Aurillacois in France, Benevento in Italy and the Bedford Blues in England.
Ian represented his country on two occasions, scoring a try in his debut against Australia in Calgary on October 9, 1993. He played hooker and his second cap for Canada came later that fall, against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park. Ian started his senior rugby at the University of Victoria and he also played with the Vancouver Meraloma’s and Vancouver Rowing Club. Ian toured to Argentina, Uruguay, Hong Kong and Japan with the national team.
David, originally from Ontario where he played his Club rugby for the Oakville Crusaders, moved west in the late 1980’s to broaden his rugby horizons. He played five matches in Canada’s colors, with his debut coming in the only game Canada played in 1988, on June 11, against the U.S. at Saranac Lake in New York. David played in the 1991 World Cup and started as hooker against Fiji and in quarterfinal against the All Blacks. While in B.C., he played for the University of British Columbia and the Meraloma’s.
The Canadian Rugby Foundation is very pleased to have been able to “officially” present caps to 47 former members of the National Senior Men’s Team and 23 former members of the former and current National Senior Women’s Team in the past 9 months.
Our records still indicate that over 200 men and women need to be presented their caps. If you know of someone that has not yet received their cap or you would like to help the Canadian Rugby Foundation with future capping ceremonies, please contact Matthuw Ronald-Jones by phone at 250.386.5350 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.