Pacific Pride Legacy Fund

The Rugby Canada National Development Academy or Pacific Pride is a Canadian rugby union team based in Langford, British Columbia. The team acts as the high-performance development academy for Rugby Canada. The Pacific Pride Legacy Fund was been created to provide a permanent endowment to the Under 23 Pacific Pride National Rugby Academy. The original incarnation of the Pacific Pride program was run by Rugby Canada and the Commonwealth Centre for Sport Development (CCSD). It ran from 1996 to 2005 and arguably produced some of the best rugby talent in Canada in the professional era. David Clark (formerly of the Australian Institute of Sport) was the inaugural Head Coach of the program. He was tasked to seek out rugby talent across the country and bring them to a centralized, professional training atmosphere. His goal was to further develop players’ skills and get them prepared to compete at the international level.

Only 3 years after the program started, 5 CCSD/Pacific Pride Alumni were selected to play in the 1999 Rugby World Cup. In the 2003 Rugby World Cup, more than half the team were composed of Pride Alumni and by the 2007 Rugby World Cup, every player except for five had been through the program.

The Pacific Pride program was resurrected in 2019, and will largely draw on uncapped players seen to be one to three seasons away from playing senior international rugby. They will be chosen by Rugby Canada in conjunction with provincial unions. The hope is the program will create a new path for the national 15s and sevens teams as well as pro clubs.

Until 2021 the revamped Pacific Pride program was under the direction of former Canadian international and graduate of the original Pacific Pride Program, Jamie Cudmore. Jamie played for Canada in 4 Rugby World Cups and played at the highest level of professional rugby in France for more than a decade with Clermont Auvergne. He was also a professional coach for 3 years in France and most recently an Assistant Coach for Canada’s Men’s 156s national team. In 2021, Jamie was replaced by another Canadian 15s and 7s stalwart, Phil Mack as Head Coach.

Phil Mack earned 57 caps for Canada and was a member of the 2015 and ’19 World Cup squads. He was also a star on the 7s circuit, ranking second in all-time Canada scoring (973 points) after appearing in 50-plus tournaments. After spending 2018 and 2019 as a player coach with the Seattle Seawolves of Major League Rugby, Mack joined the Pacific Pride as an assistant coach prior to the 2020 season before being elevated to the Head Coach position in 2021. Additionally, he continues to coach for the Thunder Indigenous Rugby program

The mandate of the Pacific Pride Legacy Fund is to create a permanent endowment that will ensure the Pacific Pride Academy is supported financially in perpetuity.

The initial goal is to raise $1 million for the newly revamped Pacific Pride Program. Of the money collected, the capital will not be encroached upon and annual guaranteed payouts from the fund will be used for the betterment of the program such as year-end international tours and equipment.

Learn more about the Pacific Pride Academy by clicking HERE.