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[Report] Brian Burke Appointed to Rugby Canada Board of Directors


elvis15

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Yes, you heard that right, the same Brian Burke that was the GM of the Leafs, Canucks, Ducks, etc. is now on the board of directors for Rugby Canada.

http://www.rugbycana...ID=0&page=72118

Rugby Canada, on behalf of its Board Members and provincial unions, is proud to announce the appointment of Brian Burke to its Board of Directors.

Following graduation from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Burke became a National Hockey League (NHL) Player agent before becoming General Manager for the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs. Burke won a Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Ducks and was the General Manager of the silver-medal winning USA Men’s Hockey Team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.

While few in North America can best Burke’s hockey resume, his rugby history is impressive and relatively unknown to Canadian media and rugby fans.

“Brian has a deep understanding of professional sports in North America and, with his successes and contacts across the National Hockey League and beyond, we’re happy to have him involved with Rugby Canada,” said Graham Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Rugby Canada.

“We look forward to working with Brian in the build-up to our men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups and Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,” Brown added.

A dual citizen of USA and Canada, Burke played five years of rugby as a prop for Harvard Business School Rugby Football Club (HBSRFC) in the New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) and is a passionate supporter of Canadian Rugby.

“When I was at Harvard in my first year of my Law Degree I used to walk by the rugby field and I asked around if I could join this exciting game and started shortly after,” said Burke during Rugby Canada’s Hawksworth Dinner earlier in 2013.

Pat Quinn hired Burke in 1987 as the Director of Hockey Operations for the Vancouver Canucks and, upon travelling to Canada’s West Coast, Burke was introduced to Canadian rugby.

“I played five years in New England and I thought that was good competition until I moved to Vancouver and saw club rugby in BC and how good it was.”

“I am excited and honoured to join Rugby Canada’s Board of Directors and to help grow the game of rugby in Canada,” said Burke.

The role of Board of Directors is to oversee all aspects of Rugby Canada, ensuring the direction taken by it’s staff and provincial unions continues to promote and strength the sport for men, women and supporters in Canada.

Burke will be available to the media on Thursday, August 22nd at 12:30pm at the Marriott Hotel, immediately following the Canada versus USA Rugby World Cup Qualifying Press Conference. The Webb Ellis Cup – rugby’s ultimate trophy – will be also be in attendance during the event.

RWC QUALIFIER PRESS CONFERENCE:

Date: Thursday, August 22nd

Time: 12:30pm

Who: Canada and USA coaches and captains will be in attendance

Venue: Marriott Hotel

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It is building and having 7s in Rio will definitely help. People watching the Olympics will cheer for Canada in any sport, even if they aren't familiar with it, so that will give it some much needed exposure. We've been improving a little in our player development in both men's and women's to help build a better product to compete against other countries, and it's certainly ahead of our soccer program (arguably for both sexes) in terms of success at this point.

Like I said, it'll be interesting to see how Burke factors into this. I'm sure he's not doing it for free, but his involvement is a bit of a coup from a media and experience perspective. So long as the cost isn't detrimental and he can bring value to the program, it'll likely be a significant help to attract and develop better talent on the field.

I should add I don't know if he'll be continuing his scouting consultant job with Anaheim or if he'll pursue other work in hockey. He could be working part time in the director role, but I'm sure that'll all come more clear as the details are announced at the presser.

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Canadian rugby is improving and it was great to see the interest that the previous World Cup generated (particularly on this forum) but there isn't the interest in the sport for them to become major players and I can't see Brian Burke having a significant effect. He's probably a good addition though.

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Canadian rugby is improving and it was great to see the interest that the previous World Cup generated (particularly on this forum) but there isn't the interest in the sport for them to become major players and I can't see Brian Burke having a significant effect. He's probably a good addition though.

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Haha funny story. Back in my day in highschool we won our league. The winner had the "privledge" of playing a New Zealand club bein billeted. We lost 101-3 (kicked a penalty literally a minute into the match from half field).

I never knew how good, tough and fast a team could be until I played that match. Probably be the same if a top hockey team from BC went to NZ.

All good though. We all got slammed later that night and had good stories to tell.

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Haha funny story. Back in my day in highschool we won our league. The winner had the "privledge" of playing a New Zealand club bein billeted. We lost 101-3 (kicked a penalty literally a minute into the match from half field).

I never knew how good, tough and fast a team could be until I played that match. Probably be the same if a top hockey team from BC went to NZ.

All good though. We all got slammed later that night and had good stories to tell.

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Haha funny story. Back in my day in highschool we won our league. The winner had the "privledge" of playing a New Zealand club bein billeted. We lost 101-3 (kicked a penalty literally a minute into the match from half field).

I never knew how good, tough and fast a team could be until I played that match. Probably be the same if a top hockey team from BC went to NZ.

All good though. We all got slammed later that night and had good stories to tell.

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The problem is we need either a domestic league, or program to keep our teams playing against the best competition. Despite all this, Rugby Canada does a damn fine job keeping us competitive. We're far more competitive in Rugby than we are in soccer.

That's a testament to how hard our boys and girls work. I've fallen in love with Rugby, it's a far more entertaining sport than the NFL or CFL. Best of all it's a team sport, and every player has a role to play. I knew an old guy from Wales and he said the best quote.

"Football (Soccer) is a gentleman's sport played by hooligans. Rugby is a hooligan's sport played by gentlemen!"

Considering all the money US colleges and Universities get for athletics, the fact that we can beat the US in Rugby should make us proud. The only thing is we need better coaching and development because we're a long way off from South Africa, France, England, Australia and of course New Zealand.

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Thats funny, I had a similar experience. In high school we made a team from 3 different schools and went to England, we would've been a really in BC. But over there we were embarrassed lol. We mostly played schools seconds over there, but I remember we went against one schools firsts(they were last place in their division) and lost 90 something to 7 hah. It was funny because we were actually much bigger than them too, but the speed they played the game at was just too much for us to handle. Of course we all got drunk together after each game, it was great.

It will be interesting to see what Brian Burke can do if anything, the major hurdle for us right now is just our culture I think. Canada isn't that big of a country and there are only so many people that have that natural athletic skill to compete on a world stage. Unfortunately Rugby is pretty low on the pecking order of sports around here. Hockey obv god in this country and i would argue soccer and basketball are above rugby too, and is probably on par with football. Would be nice to see that change because it is a great sport.

On a different thought completely does anyone else ever think how dominate the US could be at rugby if it were as big as football?

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My school played against Brentwood (?) and Shawnigan Lake. We won both times but from what I can remember they ran us close. I sat on the bench for one of them but never played (I was a terrible rugby player before I manned up and realised that it didn't really hurt to tackle or be tackled. After that it was my favourite sport for a while).

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The problem is we need either a domestic league, or program to keep our teams playing against the best competition. Despite all this, Rugby Canada does a damn fine job keeping us competitive. We're far more competitive in Rugby than we are in soccer.

That's a testament to how hard our boys and girls work. I've fallen in love with Rugby, it's a far more entertaining sport than the NFL or CFL. Best of all it's a team sport, and every player has a role to play. I knew an old guy from Wales and he said the best quote.

"Football (Soccer) is a gentleman's sport played by hooligans. Rugby is a hooligan's sport played by gentlemen!"

Considering all the money US colleges and Universities get for athletics, the fact that we can beat the US in Rugby should make us proud. The only thing is we need better coaching and development because we're a long way off from South Africa, France, England, Australia and of course New Zealand.

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