James calls for direction

Mike James hung up his boots as a player and then insisted that Canada rugby needs a good kick in a different direction.

The second row played his last game for Canada in the 6-37 loss to an Australian second-string side at the Chaban Delmas stadium on Saturday, along with captain Morgan Williams and Rod Snow.

It meant the Canada of 2007 was officially the nation’s worst-performing side in World Cup terms as every other team had won at least one match at the tournament.

All the current side could manage was a 12-12 draw against Japan.

“We are very disappointed not to have won one game. We needed a little more luck to make the difference and score more tries,” said James.

“But I am tired of Canada coming to the World Cup as a tourist and we need to make changes in the way Rugby Canada deals with the sport in Canada.”

“Some people in my country say I should have stopped earlier. It was a personal decision and I think I paid a price but I am proud of what I accomplished.”

The three retirees are all set to be offered jobs with the Canadian RFU either in coaching or administrative capacities.

It is a move which coach Ric Suggitt welcomes.

“The future of rugby in Canada is bright. We have guys like Morgan Williams, Mike James and Rod Snow who I think you will soon see involved in teaching our younger players. We need more games,” he said.

“We need more A-level games and more Test games.”

“As far as my position goes, it is still under negotiation and things look positive. If not, I’ll be pounding the pavement looking for work.”

The Canadians matched the physicality of the Australians in the first half but tired in the second in grim conditions and the Wallabies ran in six tries in all, Drew Mitchell’s pair giving him seven for the tournament, thus overtaking David Campese’s Australian record.

Canada fly-half Ander Monro, however, was far from downhearted and admitted he would return home savouring some special memories.

“I’m pleased with our overall performance. They are a class team,” said Monro.

“Arriving at Bordeaux airport with everybody cheering us was pretty special. The fans make this competition what it is. When we played Wales the crowd got right behind us, that was fantastic.”

“Sure, on the team bus driving round you get the odd middle finger but most of it has been supportive.”

“It’s a little bit sad to be leaving but we have been living out of a suitcase without seeing our families for eight weeks so glad also to be going home, but it’s been a great experience.”

“I hope we can come back next time and have a better crack at it. Canada is a developing rugby nation and we have got to do everything we can to improve.”


365 Digital

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