Canada Men's Programs In Turmoil As Repechage Looms

Why Canada 7s Mascot Name Is Captain Greene

Players in Canada's men's sevens program have reportedly boycotted training because Rugby Canada has changed the team's structure, making sevens the second banana to 15s, and the players are not happy at all.

The Canadian men's 15s team is gearing up to play in the Rugby World Cup Qualification Repechage in November, looking for that elusive final spot at the quadrennial tournament. Canada faces Germany, Hong Kong, and Kenya in a round-robin tournament in Marseilles, France.

Canada 15s head coach Kingsley Jones said he would expect all domestic players to be available for preparation (including warmup games in France), but that plan has expanded into Rugby Canada merging the 15s and the sevens player pools.

Some might see this is a money grab. The Canadian men's sevens program is funded in part through the Canadian Olympic Committee, which raises funds through donations, sponsorships, and through backing from the Canadian government (the USA is the only country in the world whose Olympic Committee does not get government funding).

Whether it is or not, it seems to be creating a division between sevens and 15s, pitting players against each other and making for a negative environment in camp.

Players have not been shy in expressing their ire in social media.

With money in short supply in Rugby Canada, it would be tempting to use sevens resources to train 15s players for the Repechage. So it is that new contracts for the sevens players included reduced pay — funds that are expected to be redirected toward the 15s players. Rugby Canada has indeed officially centralized sevens and 15s players under contract.

According to a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, this is an acknowledgment that Canada doesn't have the depth to run 15s and sevens separately, but really it's more about the fact that sevens players get a monthly check from the government as elite Olympic athletes, and the 15s players don't. So now the funds from Rugby Canada that augment a sevens player's pay have been cut substantially.

"Rugby Canada's board of directors has clearly stated that our men's fifteens program is the priority program for the union," Tim Powers, chair of Rugby Canada's board of directors, said in a statement in August. "In the environment in which we live, key core funding for our entire union is driven by our men's fifteens performance."

On-Form Vakatawa Returns As France Looks For 3-0 Six Nations Start

Barnstorming center Virimi Vakatawa has handed France a massive boost after being named in the team to play Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday.

Biggar Cleared As Pivac Names Wales Team For France Test

Dan Biggar will start for Wales against France in the Six Nations on Saturday after recovering from a third head injury of this season.

Scotland Names Lineup, Looks For First 2020 Six Nations Win

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has dropped center Huw Jones for Saturday's Six Nations match with Italy with both sides bidding for their first win and the loser likely to end up with the wooden spoon.

If It Ain't Broken Don't Fix It: Ireland Side Unchanged For England Clash

Ireland coach Andy Farrell named an unchanged starting lineup for Sunday's Six Nations clash with England to the one that impressed in the 24-14 victory over 2019 Grand Slam winners Wales.

WATCH: Life Aims To Rebound At Home vs Rival Lindenwood

Following last week's defeat to the Arkansas State Red Wolves, their first in the past 30 games, the Life Running Eagles will look to get back in the win column on Saturday at 1:00 PM (ET) when they host the Lindenwood Lions. 

Cheslin Kolbe Reiterates Olympic Aspirations

Springbok World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe said on Sunday he was holding discussions with the South African Rugby Union to play at this year's Tokyo Olympics.

MLR, Super Rugby, & A Life Win Streak Snapped: 10 Monday Notes

With the Six Nations on an off week, all the attention in the rugbyverse was on the Club game, as Super Rugby, Major League Rugby, and the Pro14 raged on. 

Sponsor Allianz Severs Long-Running Ties With Saracens

Allianz heaped more misery on English and European rugby champions Saracens on Thursday, announcing they would be terminating their sponsorship of both the club and the stadium at the end of the season.

Major League Rugby Round 2 Preview

If Week 1 taught us anything about the 2020 season, it's that the competition this year is going to be wide open. 

Hong Kong, Singapore 7s Postponed Due To Coronavirus

Rugby's Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens events were postponed from April to October over the Coronavirus on Thursday, joining the Chinese Grand Prix, golf, and soccer fixtures on the growing list of sporting casualties.