BRITISH COLUMBIA

Victoria suburb assumes host role after Argentina unable to take it on

08/30/2012 06:06 EDT | Updated 10/30/2012 05:12 EDT
LANGFORD, B.C. - Langford, B.C., will host the 2012 Americas Rugby Championship in October, Rugby Canada announced Thursday.

Canada, the U.S., Argentina and Uruguay will compete in the round-robin men's tournament Oct. 12, Oct. 16 and Oct. 20 at Bear Mountain Stadium. The competition involves traditional 15-player sides.

According to a Rugby Canada news release, Argentina was originally slated to host the event, but was then unable to take it on. Canada accepted an International Rugby Board request to assume the host role.

Langford is the home of Rugby Canada's new national headquarters.

"Hosting international rugby in Canada is always an exciting opportunity and to be able to bring it to Rugby Canada's home of high performance on (Vancouver) Island makes it that much more special," said Rugby Canada CEO Graham Brown. "We have had so much support from the entire community since we moved our facility here.

"We know this tournament is going to be a great success for Canadian rugby and for the local community."

Argentina is the two-time defending champion. This marks the third year the tournament will be held. Designed as an annual competition, it was held in 2009 and 2010, but put on hiatus in 2011 due to the World Cup in New Zealand.

"We are pleased to be hosting the tournament and to be able to play in front of home supporters," said Canadian coach Kieran Crowley. "The tournament is seen as an important part of our development pathway and we are looking forward to the challenge of the games."

Canada will begin the tournament Oct. 12 against Uruguay while the U.S. takes on Argentina the same night. Four days later, Canada will meet the U.S. while the two South American squads will square off.

The final games Oct. 20 will see Canada face Argentina and the U.S. battle Uruguay.

"This is a community that has produced, hosted and prepared Canadian rugby athletes from all over the country for many years," said national men's program manager Gareth Rees, a Victoria native. "With the new Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence based in Langford, it is a rare opportunity for our national team players to put their skills on display in front of their home community."