(PETERBOROUGH) Mexico will have a little Peterborough flavour this weekend.
Local rugby phenom Tyler Ardron and his Canadian teammates will be taking on the some of the worlds best at the 2011 Pan American games in Guadalajara, Mexico. He and the rest of the team Canada rugby seven’s squad are hoping to spice things up and bring home some much sought after hardware.
Notified on Oct. 13, the Lakefield native was a last-minute addition to the 12-man roster that left for Mexico on Friday (Oct. 21). The Canadian rugby side first trained in BC for a few days to prepare for this weekend’s matches. This isn’t Ardron’s first taste international competition. The 20-year-old has represented Canada a number of times of his career, most recently was as team captain for the U-20 team that travelled to the Republic of Georgia. This is first time he as represented Canada on the rugby seven’s team.
“It is awesome,” states the team Canada prop.
“It means a lot. I am excited every time I get the chance to represent Canada and this time is no different.”
Rugby seven’s essentially follows the same rules and field dimensions of the customary 15-man game. A traditional rugby match is 80 minutes, where the rugby seven’s match consists of two seven minute halves with a two-minute half time.
“It’s a really fast paced game,” says Ardron.
“It’s popularity is exploding all over the world now that it has become an Olympic sport.
This is the first appearance of rugby seven’s at a major multi-sport event. It replaces futsal at these games and is one of only two male only sports at the Pan Am games; baseball being the other.
Ardron is a third year student at McMaster University majoring in economics and team captain of the McMaster Marauders men’s rugby side. Last year he and his teammates won the Ontario University Athletes (OUA) provincial rugby championship. Commenting from the athlete’s village in Mexico, Ardron is inspired by the feel of a large multi-sport event.
“It is a very unique feeling,” describes Ardron.
“We get to train with some of the best athletes in the world on a daily basis and bonding with the other Canadian athletes is awesome. We have all become part of the same team trying to win the overall points race.”
Team Canada is set to play all of its opening round matches on Saturday (Oct. 29) to set the pool rankings for the elimination rounds and finals on the Sunday (Oct. 30). Canada is in Pool B and opens its Pan Am Games debut against Chili, followed by games against Brazil and the powerhouse USA team.