Rugby royalty is coming to Vancouver.
The world famous New Zealand Maori All Blacks rugby team is coming to town, and will play Canada on November 3.
While the World Rugby Sevens Series makes an annual stop in Vancouver, this is just the second-ever senior men’s fifteens match to be played at BC Place. Canada played Japan at BC Place last June.
“We are thrilled to be bringing back fifteens rugby to BC Place stadium, where we’ve held three successful events in recent history and are set to host another HSBC Canada Sevens series in March,” Rugby Canada CEO Allen Vansen said in a media release. “The Maori All Blacks are one of the most iconic and recognizable franchises in the world and we can’t wait to play them in front of some of Canada’s most passionate rugby fans.”
Organizers expect thousands of rugby fans from other parts of Canada to travel to Vancouver for a glimpse of the Maori All Blacks.
Or maybe they’ll just come to see the Haka?
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 31, 2015
Yes, spectators will have the opportunity to witness the All Blacks perform their traditional war cry and challenge from the Maori people that has become iconic at New Zealand’s international rugby matches.
Players picked for the Maori All Blacks must have Maori ancestry (indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand). Many players for the Maori All Blacks have played for, or will play for, the senior All Blacks team that is currently ranked No. 1 in the world.
“Having played in Toronto in 2013 and Calgary in 2003, we are excited to be returning to Canada with the Maori All Blacks, in what will be our first visit to Vancouver,” said New Zealand Rugby Maori Rugby Board Chair Farah Palmer. “This match is a great addition to the Maori All Blacks programme in 2017 – providing a wonderful opportunity to bring our special style of rugby, and Maori culture, to this amazing part of the world.”
Rugby Canada says it will field its strongest team possible for the match. Canada, ranked 23rd in the world, will be using the match as a tune up as they prepare for a two-game series against Uruguay in January and February for a chance to qualify for the 2019 World Cup in Japan. Canada will also play four international matches in November to ready themselves.
Tickets for the match go on sale Friday at 10 am PT through Ticketmaster, starting at $20 per ticket.