Match Summary to follow.
Ready or not, today it all begins. The Canada Cup is back!
Join us over the next few days as we follow Team Canada on their quest to take on five of the world's best wheelchair rugby teams at the Richmond Olympic Oval for the 8th Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament.
Australia (1), USA (2), Japan (4), Sweden (6) and Denmark (9) will all provide a stiff challenge for a new-look Team Canada that will feature not one, not two, but five Canadians making their Canada Cup debuts. Shayne Smith (Toronto, ON), Branden Troutman (Lloydminster, AB), Eric Furtado Rodrigues (Mississauga, ON), Matt Debly (Windsor, ON) and Anthony Letourneau (Boisbriand, QC) are not household names (yet) but take our word for it, they all play hard, hit hard and fight for every try. They are a testament to the talent Canada has coming through the ranks and will be a thrill to watch over the coming days.
The five debutantes will compliment a roster of veterans that frankly, needs no complimenting. Bursting with talent and, more importantly, experience, Team Canada’s roster will feature seven players that have competed at a Paralympic Games. Cody Caldwell (Peterborough, ON), Patrice Dagenais (Embrun, ON), Trevor Hirschfield (Parksville, BC), Fabien Lavoie (Québec City, QC), Travis Murao (Toronto, ON), Patrice Simard (Québec City, QC) and Mike Whitehead (Windsor, ON) are the backbone of Team Canada and will raring to show how far they’ve come since the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
In the lead up to the 2018 Canada Cup we sat down with Head Coach Patrick Côté for his thoughts on the teams preparations, as well as to find out what he would like to see his team achieve over the course of the tournament.
Q1: How do you feel preparations have gone ahead of the 2018 Canada Cup?
“I’m pretty happy with the 4 day training we had ahead of the Canada Cup. The group looks pretty good. They are connecting well with each other on and off the court, and I believe we are on the right path to achieve this our year’s goals”
Q2: Is there anything in particular that you have you stressed in practices ahead of the Canada Cup?
“The one thing that we have stressed, in particular, was to maintain our style of play. We want to play Canada’s style of play throughout the competition, no matter who we are going to play against. Though we may approach every game differently and have specific game plans, we need to stick to our blueprint and play the game the way WE want to play it”
Q3: Results aside, what are you hoping to see from your team at the 2018 Canada Cup?
I want to see our style of play. I want our team to be very aggressive and play Canada Rugby. It is a very intense, relentless style of rugby. It’s what I expect to see out of the players.
Q4: How do you feel your team matches up against your first opponents Sweden?
It should be a pretty good matchup. We haven’t played Sweden in a long time. Actually, the last time we played them was two years ago at the 2016 Canada Cup. That said, I believe our team matches up quite perfectly with them, so it should be quite the exciting game.
Canada plays Sweden at 17:00 PT on Court 1 at the Richmond Olympic Oval.
Tickets are still available and can be purchased HERE. You can also buy them at the door.
Thursday All Day Pass - $10
Friday/Sat/Sun All Day Pass - $15
Individual All Event Pass - $40
Family All Event Pass (up to 4 people) - $100
Children under 12 free.
In addition to the on-court action, fans will be able to enjoy a full beer garden and a silent auction.
CAN'T MAKE IT? WATCH THE WEBCAST!
All matches can watched LIVE at https://sportscanada.tv/wheelchairrugby/