CANADIAN PRIDE – Jacey Murphy of the Canadian Women’s Rugby team competes during the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France. Murphy

Four Nations Cup set for Red Deer next week

  • Wed Jun 24th, 2015 3:41pm

Rugby fans from far and wide will gather in Red Deer on Canada Day for the 2015 Four Nations Cup, a world super series between the national Canadian, U.S. British, and Kiwi women’s rugby teams.

Two rugby matches will be held at the Titans’ Rugby Park in Red Deer County as part of the series, which will also host games in Calgary and Edmonton over the course of a week.

Organizers invite Central Albertans to celebrate their heritage as well as the Canadian national rugby team by wearing red and bringing out their Canadian flags, as they face off against their age-old rivals – the U.S. national women’s rugby team.

“If you go to a national level soccer or rugby game anywhere else in the world, people are going to fully dress up to support their nation,” said Bill Bowd, head coach of the Titans’ women’s rugby team. “In North America it isn’t always like that, but we’re hoping that with it being Canada Day people will show their support and help us bring out the patriotism.

“If you go to a rugby game in England, there’s not a fan in their parks who doesn’t have a hat, shirt, jersey or flag with them to support their team – they really show their country pride and what better day to show our pride than on Canada Day.”

The Four Nations Cup will kick off in Calgary on Saturday, June 27th at the Calgary Rugby Park where Team Canada will meet the New Zealand Black Ferns. A few days later all four teams will make the trip to Red Deer for Canada Day where the evening will kick-off at 4 p.m. with England and New Zealand taking to the pitch first.

The game will be followed by the battle for North America, with the second game of the day’s double-header kicking off at 6:30 p.m.

“England, Canada, the U.S. and New Zealand are four of the eight best women rugby teams in the world,” explained Bowd. “This is the highest level of women’s rugby you can make it into and you are going to see some incredible athletes doing some incredible things.”

Bowd said tents and benching have been added to the field to provide for visiting fans with a concession also available.

He added the reasoning for the game coming to Red Deer was due largely in part to Graeme Moffat – a former coach of the Red Deer Titans’ Rugby Club, who now resides in Calgary as director for Rugby Canada.

“During his time in Red Deer he really fell in love with the City,” said Bowd. “He wants to promote the Titans’ Park as a great half point mark in the province for teams to meet in the middle.

“Red Deer is such a beautiful city – it’s easy to get around in and the beauty of our club is how easy we are to get to off of Highway 2.

“When you go to Calgary you have to go down through the city to get to it and it can be difficult and with Edmonton’s club having so little parking, it makes Red Deer an ideal location for provincial teams as well as the Wolf Pack Rugby Club out of Calgary, whose members are comprised from a broad range of places.

“They want some place with a strong identity like ours to be that home base for some of these teams.”

For more information on the event or to purchase tickets to the July 1st games visit http://events.rugbycanada.ca.

jswan@reddeerexpress.com