Canada match in Montreal against French Barbarians called off due to pandemic

Canada match in Montreal against French Barbarians called off due to pandemic

TORONTO — Canada’s rugby international against the French Barbarians on July 4 in Montreal has been called off due to the COVID-10 pandemic.

Rugby Canada said Friday that the French invitational side had cancelled its summer tour of North America, which included a July 11 match against the U.S.

“It was a very difficult decision but necessary in the current context,” Denis Charvet, vice-president of the French Barbarian Rugby Club, said in a statement. “We must all act so that the situation evolves positively and that we can resume our activities. And unfortunately, it goes through this cancellation.”

The game at Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard, which would have been the first-ever rugby international in Montreal, was to have been the opening match of the 23rd-ranked Canadian men’s quadrennial leading to the 2023 World Cup in France.

A match against No. 12 Italy in Halifax on July 11 remains on the calendar, at least at this stage.

Canada has not played since its World Cup campaign in Japan was cut short last October due to Typhoon Hagibis.

Citing the safety of all concerned, Rugby Canada said it supports the decision to cancel the Montreal game, saying it hoped to welcome the French Barbarians to Canada in the future.

The cancellation will hit Rugby Canada’s bottom line. Home games do not come often and the gate revenue is welcome.

CEO Allen Vansen said earlier this month that he anticipates a virus-related decline of $4 million to $6 million this year in gross revenue, although that will be accompanied by a reduction in expenses given the pandemic has forced events to be called off.

In 2017, the most recent figures available, Rugby Canada had $16.2 million in revenue.

Cancellation of the French side’s tour will also not help USA Rugby, which has filed for bankruptcy.

It also extends the virus-prompted inactivity for the Canadian men. Some 50 Canadians currently play in North America’s Major League Rugby, which cancelled its 2020 season on March 19 after five rounds due to the pandemic.

After July, the Canadians are slated to play in the newly restructured America’s Rugby Championship.

They open against the 16th-ranked Americans on Aug. 15 in Glendale, Colo., before returning home to face No. 26 Brazil in Calgary on Aug. 22 and No. 29 Chile in Winnipeg on Aug. 29. Canada then travels to South America for the final two ARC matches against Argentina XV — a Pumas reserve side — on Sept. 5 and No. 17 Uruguay on Sept. 12.

The summer test window was restructured this year by World Rugby and participating unions to accommodate the MLR competition schedule. The window was shifted from June to July and the ARC moved from February/March to August/September.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 10, 2020.


Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 1,731 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The province’s central zone has 992 active cases

Collin Orthner, manager at McBain Camera in downtown Red Deer, stands behind the store’s counter on Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
A few Red Deer businesses happy with Black Friday results

While this year’s Black Friday wasn’t as successful as it was in… Continue reading

Le Chateau Inc. is the latest Canadian firm to start producing personal protective equipment for health care workers, in a July 3, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Hundreds of millions of dollars for frontline workers yet to be released, says Alberta Federation of Labour

Information recently released by the Alberta Federation of Labour suggests more than… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP say a 30-year-old man faces sexual charges against a teen. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Man killed in two-vehicle collision near Penhold, says Blackfalds RCMP

A 46-year-old man is dead following a two-vehicle collision on Highway 42… Continue reading

Banff National Park. (The Canadian Press)
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

EDMONTON — A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths on railway tracks… Continue reading

Cows on pasture at the University of Vermont dairy farm eat hay Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Burlington, Vt. Canadian dairy farmers are demanding compensation from the government because of losses to their industry they say have been caused by a series of international trade deals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Lisa Rathke
Feds unveil more funding for dairy, poultry and egg farmers hurt by free trade deals

OTTAWA — Canadian egg and poultry farmers who’ve lost domestic market share… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Canada's top doctor says the country is still on a troubling track for new COVID-19 infections as case counts continue mounting in much of the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
COVID-19 cases in Canada remain on troubling course, Tam says, amid rising numbers

Canada’s top doctor says the country is still on a troubling track… Continue reading

Hay’s Daze: Giraffe knows filling wishes can sometimes be a tall order

Last weekend, I had a lovely breakfast. “So what?” you may say.… Continue reading

A person enters a building as snow falls in Ottawa, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Ottawa has been successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during its second wave thanks to the city’s residents who have been wearing masks and staying home, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
People to thank for Ottawa’s success with curbing COVID-19: health officer

The city’s chief medical officer said much of the credit goes to the people who live in Ottawa

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh asks a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says tonight's public video gaming session with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is about reaching young people where they hang. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP leader stoked over ‘epic crossover’ in video gaming sesh with AOC

Singh and AOC discussed importance of universal pharmacare, political civility, a living wage

A south view of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf breaking apart is seen from Ward Hunt Island, Nunavut, in an Aug. 20, 2011, handout photo. The remote area in the northern reach of the Nunavut Territory, has seen ice cover shrink from over 4 metres thick in the 1950s to complete loss, according to scientists, during recent years of record warming. Scientists are urging the federal government to permanently protect a vast stretch of Canada's remotest High Arctic called the Last Ice Area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-CEN/Laval University, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Scientists urge permanent protection of Last Ice Area in Canada’s High Arctic

Tuvaijuittuq has the thickest and oldest ice in the Arctic

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s $55 million Lotto Max jackpot

No winning ticket was sold for the $55 million jackpot in Friday… Continue reading

Most Read