Yet another Kiwi Coach in charge, this time is Kieran Crowley (bringing his twice All Blacks World Cup experience with him), will have ensured some tough training. Canada is a team that is rarely fazed even in the face of dominating opposition and this belief will stand them in good stead. They lost dramatically to Fiji in their last pre RWC warm up first weekend in September – so they will be wanting to make sure they play more clinically against Ireland in their first match. 12th October is Thanksgiving day in Canada so they will be hoping by then, that they will have had reason to give thanks at the Rugby World Cup by progressing beyond the pool stages.
Captain: Tylor Ardron
Player to Watch: Jeff Hassler who plays alongside the Captain at Ospreys could be useful for his ability to be happy at either centre or wing.
Dates of Pool Matches:
Saturday 19th September vs Ireland – Kick off 14.30 – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Saturday 26th September vs Italy – Kick off 14.30 – Elland Road, Leeds
Thursday 1st October vs France – Kick off 20.00 – Stadium mk, Milton Keynes
Tuesday 6th October vs Romania – Kick off – 16.45 – Leicester City Stadium, Leicester
For more information about Canadian Rugby – http://www.rugbycanada.ca
For full details follow: http://www.rugbyworldcup.com
What to Eat and Drink whilst watching the Maple Leafs
Food: Given the nickname of the National Team, it is unsurprising that the first food that comes to most people when they think of Canada, is maple syrup. It turns up in all sorts of things from chocolate to lollies visit http://www.thecanadashop.co.uk as an example. But be wary when buying your Maple Syrup and read the label carefully to make sure it is the real thing and not a fructose imposter. The real McCoy is not cheap but as it takes about 39 gallons of sap from the tree to make 1 gallon of Syrup – it’s understandable. The other food that Canadians love is bacon – so why not combine the two with streaky bacon grilled till very crispy and then drizzled with maple syrup! Worth the sticky fingers!
But the classic Canadian favourite that would make excellent match day food is Poutine. It looks rather like a culinary car crash – but is the glorious combination of french fries, curd cheese topped with gravy. Not convinced? You should try it. It had a bit of a moment in the UK recently with various restaurants upgrading it using chi-chi ingredients but that is missing the point . If you live in London head to Brick Lane ,where at The Poutinerie, they will show you that the original is still the best. https://twitter.com/ThePoutinerie
Other match day comfort food could be Montreal Spiced Meat sarnies. If you are feeling like planning ahead, there is a recipe on http://www.foodnetwork.co.uk – but be warned, the brining takes two days alone plus the smoking… or maybe just cheat slightly with some pastrami, but it won’t taste quite the same! Or the unusual named Paté Chinois, which is a Canadian version of Shepherds Pie!
Beer: Like the states, Budweiser is the main brand in Canada, but not far behind are Coors Light, Molson and Labatt Blue and also look at for Moosehead Beer – all are available notwithstanding the name at http://www.beersofeurope.co.uk
Craft Beers also have a good production in Canada – when I was last in Vancouver I was impressed by the Granville Island Brewery, but sadly I cannot find it in the UK. The Great Lakes Brewing Company makes a wide range including great names such as Rye of the Tiger and Elliot Ness! Names seem to be a fixation with Canadian craft breweries – anyone fancy a pint of Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter Stout made by Dead Frog Brewery in British Columbia?
Canada also has some good ciders if you can lay your hands on them in the UK.
Wine: Canada is probably most famous in the UK for its Ice Wine, where the grapes are left to freeze on the vines with http://www.inniskillin.com being the most known producer and available in limited amounts in the UK.
But there are exciting times ahead for Canadian wine beyond Ice Wine, with Ontario (Prince Edward Country in particular) and British Columbia producing some lovely wines, even Nova Scotia is home to some impressive Rieslings. The generally cool climate works well with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir but the most exciting grape could be Syrah, following on from cool climate Syrah elsewhere in the wine world. The Okanagan Valley is a region to be reckoned with and look out for producers such as http://churchandstatewines.com.
Sadly the amount imported into the UK is minimal and very hard to source, and what does come in goes directly to restaurants but hopefully that will change.
Not available in the UK but if you are planning a trip to Canada – head to Vancouver Island and visit http://www.averillcreek.ca – lovely people and anyone who is brave enough to show their Canadian Pinot Noir at a Michelin Star restaurant in Burgundy over lunch deserves support!
For some useful information about Canadian wine do visit: