Rugby in Canada has a long way to go to match the sport's popularity worldwide

Members of the Canadian rugby team practised at the Clansmen Rugby Club in Edmonton this week....

Members of the Canadian rugby team practised at the Clansmen Rugby Club in Edmonton this week. (Perry Mah, Edmonton Sun)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:47 PM ET

Here in hockey-happy Edmonton, chances are you’d have an easier time convincing someone rugby is a carpet-dwelling insect with a stinger rather than having them able to name the reigning World Cup champion.

Which is a big reason why Team Canada is ready, willing and able to open the Pacific Nations Cup tournament Saturday at 2 p.m. against the U.S. at Ellerslie Rugby Park rather than their usual home-game locales in Toronto or Victoria.

But it doesn’t get any closer to home for St. Albert’s Andrew Tiedemann, who has played with the national team since 2009, as well as having played professionally in France, and has seen first-hand just how popular rugby can get.


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