Mill Bay product and Shawnigan Lake School graduate Ciaran Breen has been selected to play rugby for Canada before. He was a member of Canada’s rugby sevens team that placed sixth of 16 teams at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England in late July. It wasn’t what he’d hoped for, though, as his on-field experience was stymied by a concussion in Canada’s second game of the tournament.
Breen is hoping for a different result now that he’s once again been selected to compete on the world stage — this time at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town, South Africa.
“Playing in a World Cup has always been a dream of mine, and I could not be more excited to get the tournament underway,” the 21-year-old, six-footer said from South Africa this week. “Getting selected brought on a bunch of emotions, but really just overwhelming excitement. We’ve got a great group of lads who are hungry to go out and get a result. We have a lot to prove and we definitely have the talent for it.”
Canada’s first contest comes against Zimbabwe Friday, Sept. 9 at 11:45 p.m. PST.
“I couldn’t be more excited to see what we can do this weekend,” Breen said. “Coming off the Commonwealth Games with an unfortunate injury taking me out on Day 2, I personally am super hungry to take on Zimbabwe on Friday.”
Breen said there’s a lot to look forward to but one thing stands out for him: “If I had to pick, I would have to say the atmosphere in the stadium,” he said. “Cape Town is always a crazy place to play and the crowd is surely going to be massive. It’s expected to be 160,000 over the three days; most definitely the biggest crowd I have played in front of.”
The winner of the Canada-Zimbabwe fixture moves on to the round of 16 while the loser plays in the Bowl bracket.
Breen left the Cowichan Rugby Club in 2019 to play a season for France’s Biarritz Olympic Pays Basque. He then came home to Canada and suited up with the UBC Thunderbirds for the 2020-2021 season before returning to France to play centre for US Carcassonne.
“My contract in France has concluded and I am planning on continuing with the Canadian sevens team for the foreseeable future,” Breen said. “I love sevens rugby and I am always grateful of the opportunity to play for Canada. Being the youngest on the team I definitely have a lot to prove, but I love every second of it.”
To follow Breen and Canada’s quest for gold, watch at www.cbcsports.ca