There may be no Canadian rugby player more decorated than Tyler Ardron.
The Rugby Canada men’s captain has played professionally in the rugby crazed countries of both Wales (Ospreys) and New Zealand (Chiefs), and today he is a member of the French club Castres Olympique.
For the average Canadian this might not be impressive because this sport is only popular in pockets of our country, but for anyone immersed in rugby, Ardron is considered not just one of the best rugby players in Canada, but one of the best rugby players in the world.
After breaking his lacrosse stick as a grade nine student, the Lakefield, ON native was encouraged by his woodshop teacher to give rugby a try. Ardron quickly excelled and has never looked back, playing for junior Ontario and Canada teams. Along the way, Ardron has fallen in love with both the sport and the culture around it.
“It’s different than really any of the North American sports. You get an amazing basketball player – football, even baseball, one player can change a whole game, but rugby you just can’t,” Ardron said.
The reliance on teamwork is unlike any other sport as rugby is designed in a way that each of your 15 players on the field is vital for the team to succeed.
Ardron would go on to play rugby for the McMaster Marauders in Hamilton, and the various junior Canadian teams he was eligible for.
“I kind of saw rugby as an opportunity to travel. I flew on a plane before either of my parents did,” said Ardron.
Demand for the rugby forward’s services meant a reduced course load at school, as he capitalized on every opportunity to play the game, including being named captain of the Rugby Canada men’s team ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
While Ardron hopes Canada can improve from the three losses they suffered at the 2019 World Cup, he also wants to introduce more and more Canadians to the great game that he loves.
“I mean if you can run from one end of the field to the other end without being tackled or brought down, and you score. That’s as simple as the game is. If someone’s going to tackle you, you’ve got to toss the ball backwards, so really that’s as simple as the game is.”