XBlades – The Best Boots for the Best Game


Photo by Dale Hall

XBlades are quickly becoming the rugby boot of choice for many rugby players across Canada. Many Canadian national players are wearing XBlades, and the Ontario Blues senior men’s team is sponsored by XBlades Canada.

Being a newer company in Canada, I have decided to do a review on two different lines of cleats, which XBlades offer. The two pairs of boots, that are being reviewed, are the Genius IQ 110R and the Legend Speed.

Legend Speed


Submitted Photo

The Legend Speed boots are an extremely light-weight boot, made of kangaroo leather. The “Speeds” have a “Dual Density Sole System,” which helps reduce foot fatigue when running. They also have an “X-release system.” The “X-release system” allows for the boot to release from the ground, under a heavy weight load, which will help reduce the chances of an injury.

The Legend Speed is the lightest pair of boots I have ever worn, and I immediately felt faster and lighter on my feet. The length of the blades is an asset to the boot, because they add traction and grip when working at maximum output. Another surprising attribute, for the “Speeds,” is their durability. I have worn these cleats approximately four times a week for two months, doing various activities such as practicing, refereeing and speed training, and the boots are still holding up well. If you are a speedy winger looking for a boot that will help you take the corner on your opponent, than the Legend Speed line of XBlades are for you.

Genius IQ 110R


Submitted Photo

The Genius IQ line is by far on of the most comfortable rugby boots ever made. XBlades have equipped the Genius IQ boots with a “Shock Retention System,” an “Arch Stabiliser” and “Neotech Cushioning;” all for comfort and durability. The short blade length makes these boots ideal for artificial turf surfaces, and for practices.

As a referee, I prefer to wear a comfortable pair of rugby boots. Referees can be on their feet for 80 minutes, or, if they are doing a tournament, they could be on their feet for two days. The Genius IQ line is perfect for that referee, who comes off the field complaining about how sore his, or her, feet are after a long weekend. For me the break-in time was minimal with the Genius IQ’s. I wore them for a day long tournament, three days after I received them and I did not have one complaint.

The Genius IQ line is heavier than the Legend Speed line, but where the Genius IQ lacks in weight, it makes up for in durability and comfort. The Genius IQ is a must buy for all referees, and players and coaches looking for a practice boot!

For more information on XBlades please check out their website: http://www.xbladesca.com/

Upright Rugby Grows the Game in Toronto

 Upright Rugby Canada hosted a week long camp for young rugby players, under-8 to under-16 year olds, at Rosedale Park in Toronto, Ont.

 Upright Rugby has been trying to run an event in downtown Toronto for the past few years, but due to high costs, they were unable to run an event.

Photo by Dale Hall

 “With the support of a couple key people within the Toronto rugby community, we were able to offset these costs and run our camp,” says Tyler Leggat, president of Upright Rugby Canada.

 For an entire week, young ruggers took to the field, and developed their basic rugby skills. The children worked on their running and passing. As well, the children had former Canadian national front row, Dan Pletch, run a scrummaging session on the Thursday.

 There were many highlights throughout the week, at Rosedale Park, and one of them was the original meet and great.

 “To meet all the kids as they arrived with their parents, really made for a wonderful moment,” says Leggat.

 Leggat thanks every party who helped Upright Rugby Canada put together such a successful camp. The Toronto City Rugby Club and Rugby Canada played a big role in helping put together the camp.

 “They [Rugby Canada] quickly got our flyer on the website and supported the camp through social media,” says Leggat.

 Rugby Canada also sent former long-time national forward, Al Charron, to Rosedale Park to speak with all the young children. Charron did a lengthy “Q & A” with the children, questions ranged from his playing career to his “favourite colour ball.”

 Upright Rugby Canada will look to continue to host sessions in the downtown Toronto area, as well as continue with all of their other projects. For more information on Upright Rugby Canada, please check out their website: http://www.uprightrugby.com/.

 By Dale Hall

 Twitter: @TravllngRugger


Canada vs. Scotland by The Travelling Rugger

Here are some photos of Saturday’s match through the lenses of Dale Hall.

Photos by Dale Hall

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Canada vs. Scotland by Paige Stewart

The following photos are from the Canada vs. Scotland international match, which took place at BMO Field on June 14. Canada lost in the final minutes of the match. The tier one nation, Scotland, won 19-17.

Photographs by Paige Stewart.

For more photos by Paige Stewart please check out her Flikr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paigestewart

The Dust has Settled on BMO Field

Canada lost, in dramatic fashion, against Scotland 19-17.

In front of over 18,000 fans, both nations’ top athletes battled it out for 80 minutes.

After the final whistle, the only thing on the Canadian fans’ minds was the Jebb Sinclair red card. My Twitter and Facebook feeds were filled with accusations about the referee giving Scotland the win. I also heard stories of vulgar language used towards the officials, by people in attendance.

Photo by Dale Hall

Photo by Dale Hall

It is understandable to put fault on the officials, because every sports fan has done it in the past. However, there is no need to continually attack the match officials, especially out of blind rage.

Let me put the Canadian national team’s performance under the microscope.

Canada had three ball-handling errors inside the Scottish 22m line, which could have potentially turned into tries for Canada. Also, Jason Marshall committed a double movement infringement on the Scottish goal line. Here are four instances where Canada left points on the field, instead of the scoreboard.

Inside Canada’s 22m line, Canada had two ball-handling errors as well. At the 14 minute mark, Tyler Ardron attempted a no-look pass to Phil Mack from the back of a Canadian scrum at the Canadian 5m line. This was nearly intercepted by Greig Laidlaw, but Laidlaw knocked the ball forward. The second handling error came from an untimely box-kick by Gordon McRorie. This lead to a penalty against Canada for being offside, and it gave Scotland a successful shot at goal.

I am not stating all of this information because I am a “naysayer.” I am providing these situations because I want people to understand that everyone makes mistakes. Canada left a lot of points on the field, and they gave Scotland some very good opportunities to put some points up for themselves. The referee was not the deciding factor in this match. The better team won on the day. Hopefully, Canada can bounce back against the United States in their second match of the Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) this Saturday.

For the controversial Jebb Sinclair red card, everyone has formed an opinion, and here is mine. The first important fact that everyone must realize is: Mike Fraser, the referee for the match, spoke directly to Sinclair twice. He first addressed Sinclair at the 25-minute mark, and he seemed to be trying to settle Sinclair down after a heated breakdown. Then, at the 51-minute mark the referee addressed Sinclair again. Two verbal admonishments by a referee, directly towards a player, do add up.

As for the contact, it looked like poor body positioning by Ruaridh Jackson, and a bit of a shoulder drop by Sinclair. The thing that still has me scratching my head is the fact that Sinclair followed through with his arm, after the contact. In my opinion, with all the factors taken into account, I think a yellow card would have been more than enough.

The Canadian national team played a very hard 80-minute match against the Tier one nation, but at the end of the day Scotland came out as the victors.

Canada’s next match will take place at Bonney Field in Sacramento, Calif. This match will be the second match for Canada in their PNC campaign.

By Dale Hall
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheTravellingRugger
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TravllngRugger


Mexico Rugby CEO comes to Canada

Mexico Rugby CEO, Alberto Luca De Tena, was in Canada this past week.

De Tena was here to shadow some of the employees at both Rugby Canada offices, and he also attended and presented at the Rugby Canada Annual General Meeting.

For more information on his trip, please check out the link below for the full interview video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4aDcH7jJAE&feature=youtu.be

About Mexico Rugby

Mexico Rugby is currently ranked 74th in the world. Mexico Rugby has over 200 club sides and 35 university programs, as well as over 750 female players. Mexico RugFMRUby now has 16 full-time staff members, compared to just 5 in 2009.

The growth of rugby in Mexico is very amazing to see. Stay tuned for more information on Mexico Rugby, as The Travelling Rugger prepares to head to the Cancun 7s tournament in June.

By Dale Hall
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheTravellingRugger
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TravllngRugger

2014 Rugby Ontario Focus Group

The 2014 Rugby Ontario Referee Focus Group had their kick-off camp this past weekend in Markham, Ont.

The Focus Group consists of 12 promising referees, who are ready to continue their development as match officials. The Focus Group’s objective is to take these eager referees and provide them with training and development resources, which they can use to grow as referees.

The Focus Group’s first weekend together saw the group members attend various workshops, which will set down a good foundation for growth and development in each individual. The Focus Group is led by Andrew McMaster and Greg Williams. Over the weekend, the group had special presentations held by former Welsh international Lisa Newton, and current Markham Irish head coach Rodin Lozada.

The Focus Group members and leaders will meet four more times this year. They will be attending: the National Capital Youth Rugby Festival in Ottawa, Ont., the Ontario Summer Games in Windsor, Ont., the Rugby Ontario Jr. Cup in Markham, Ont., and the men’s leg of the University Sevens Tournament in Kingston, Ont.

Focus Group Members:

Michael Hargrave (Maxwell, Ont.)
Khalil Bheriani (Aurora, Ont.)
Sam Jones (Erin, Ont.)
Susan Heald (Burlington, Ont.)
Ben Stinson (Kingston, Ont.)
Mario Shelton (Toronto, Ont.)
Dale Hall (Niagara Falls, Ont.)
Nathan Sayers (Toronto, Ont.)
Marnus Coetsee (Stoufville, Ont.)
Dylon Hart (Mississauga, Ont.)
Becky Murray (Sunderland, Ont.)

By Dale Hall

Twitter: https: https://twitter.com/TravllngRugger

Faceboook: https://www.facebook.com/TheTravellingRugger

Article can also be found on the Rugby Ontario website.


Upright Rugby has the ‘Magic Formula’

The future of rugby is in the youth’s hands.

Tyler Leggatt, the owner of Upright Rugby Canada, is making sure those hands can catch and pass well.

Leggatt started Upright Rugby Canada as a summer camp for kids. After receiving help from several national team players, and putting in a lot of hard work, Leggatt has created a Upright Rogueswell-known rugby program.

Upright Rugby Canada runs summer camps for children 12 to 16 years of age, and they run sessions for clubs and schools. Upright Rugby Canada started an academy program four years ago, which has seen high performance athletes such as Djustice Sears-Duru, Kainoa Lloyd and Danielle Spice.

The academy program is the pride of Upright Rugby Canada, according to Leggatt.

“It has helped a number of our players work toward their goal of becoming the best rugby player they can be, says Leggatt.

“The summer camps haven’t quite found their niche.”

However, Brantford Harlequins and Oakville Crusaders have partnered with Upright Rugby Canada for 2014, and Leggatt is hoping to partner with more clubs throughout the year.

This year marked the first year for the Upright Rugby Rogues, which is a specialized sevens program for aspiring high performance sevens athletes. The Rogues are just coming off a successful Las Vegas Sevens tournament. The first team won the plate final against the Toronto Rugby Union team, and the second team had a tough loss in their shield final.

Leggatt is happy knowing that he was able to help 20 boys from Ontario get a chance to play at the biggest sevens tournament in NoUpright Rugby Canadarth America.

It is amazing to see that, what started as a summer camp has grown into something so large and successful. Upright Rugby Canada employs three people on a semi-permanent basis, as well as seeing support from current and former junior national players.

“I am extremely grateful to have players like Andrew Ferguson, Dan Mathie and Tyler Ardron come back to help when they can,” says Leggatt.

Upright Rugby Canada is a prime example of a small rugby organization making a big impact in the rugby community.

By Dale Hall 

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Canada’s USA Sevens Pool Stage

With the USA Sevens tournament starting in a matter of hours, The Travelling Rugger is breaking down Canada’s pool stage.


Photo by José Lagman

Canada’s first match is against Kenya. In 22 matches against Kenya, Canada has come out on top 13 times. The last time Kenya and Canada faced off, Kenya came out on top 24-12.

Canada’s second pool match is against South Africa. Canada has only beaten South Africa five times in 34 matches, and South Africa is coming off a cup win at their home tournament, in December.

Finally, Canada will take on Wales. Wales is sitting in ninth place on the series standings. This will be Canada’s first match against Wales at the USA Sevens. Winning over 70 per cent of their matches against Canada, Wales are heavy favourites.

Canada is up against three top 10 countries, and Canada is missing Nathan Hirayama, Sean Duke and Ciaran Hearn. It is safe to say, Canada will be fighting an uphill battle. The good thing for Canada is the fact that the tournament is being held in the United States. There are many Canadians down in Las Vegas, Nev. cheering on the Canadian side, which could give them the feeling of having a home-field advantage.

For continual updates on Canada’s progress, during the tournament, please follow The Travelling Rugger on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TrvlngRugger

By Dale Hall