One tough Son of a Gun
Date of birth: 30 June 1967 (age 44)
Place of birth: Duncan, BC, Canada
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 204 lb (93 kg)
Position: Fly-half / Fullback
Gareth Rees was born in Duncan, British Columbia and would go on to become one of the best rugby players that Canada has ever produced. Son of Welsh rugby player Alan Rees who had emigrated to Canada from Wales, brought his love of rugby with him.
As both a fly-half and a full back, Rees started his career at St. Michaels University School in Victoria only to move to England where he would attend and play for Harrow School where he would eventually get noticed by the professional leagues.
Rees’s exposure at Harrow would lead directly into a long and successful professional career overseas.
Rees with Team Canada (Photo - walesonline.co.uk)
After graduation, Rees would go on to play for the Castaway Wanderers based out of Victoria and then professionally for the Bedford Blues, Newport, Merignac, Wasps and Harlequins, the latter two being part of the British professional leagues.
Rees made quite a name for himself internationally and although his name was not widely recognized in his native country, Rees was quickly becoming legend among those who followed rugby in the Great White North.
Rees would go on to represent Canada in four World Cup tournaments – 1987, 1991, 1995 and 1999 – the first four Rugby World Cups ever staged.
He won 55 caps for Canada, captaining them on 23 occasions and scoring 487 test points, still a Canadian national record.
It was after the 1999 World Cup that Rees retired from competitive rugby. He would eventually become an analyst on Rogers Sportsnet for Canada’s broadcasts of both the World Cups and club rugby in Europe.
On October 11th, 2011, Rees was elected into the International Rugby Hall of Fame – one of only two players outside the traditional rugby playing nations to receive such an honour, and he was also inducted into the British Columbia Rugby Hall of Fame.
Every year, St. Michaels University School and Oak Bay High School compete for a pair of bronzed shoes that Rees donated as a trophy for the big rivalry.
Rees continues to be a big part of the rugby culture in Canada to this day and is still one of the greatest Canadians to ever step onto a rugby pitch.
Gareth Rees’ playing career:
Amateur club: Castaway Wanderers RFC
Professional/senior clubs: Bedford Blues, Newport, Merignac, Wasps, Harlequins
National team: Canada 1986-1999 – 55 Caps, 487 points
© Dave B for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |
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