Canadians return from Rugby World Cup: Beardo to go clean for charity

Plans to de-beard Adam Kleeberger for charity's benefit are underway

Shear the beard

Reports of a charity shearing for Adam Kleeberger’s beard colossus are gaining momentum, with a possible happening on Oct. 17.

The fearless second-rower ended his Rugby World Cup tournament with a dizzy spell. In Canada’s final game, Kleeberger’s head took the brunt of a massive collision with Tony Woodcock, the All Blacks’ prop often regarded as the best in the world at that position.

Kleeberger, of the UVic Vikes, tweeted about his condition from New Zealand on Oct. 2, saying, “Head is OK, got a CT scan done after the game and they confirmed that there is still nothing there.”

But it was Kleeberger’s beard and his “Beardo” nickname, along with the facial extravagances of Jebb Sinclair and Hubert Buydens, that made the trio the talk of the tournament.

The previously clean-shaven Kleeberger is back in Victoria this week creating wonder as to whether his chin trophy will return to its previous owner, the Norse god of Thunder.

Sinclair, however, won’t be part of any possible shaving festivities as he’s headed to England to make his professional debut with the historic London-Irish rugby club of the Aviva Premiership. Likewise, Rugby Canada said Buydens intends to retain his bearded status. As of Monday, Buydens’ playing status was unknown.

A new start for Canada as 2015 RWC campaign begins

The New Zealand All Blacks might as well have pushed the Canadians to the airport in a wheelbarrow Saturday. Canada’s Rugby World Cup came to an end with a 79-15 loss against the host All Blacks. Heavy favourites to win the RWC, New Zealand never let up on Canada in the final Pool A round robin match, scoring a dozen tries.

But Canada will carry on.

After the game, head coach Kieran Crowley, a former All Black, said he’s signed on with Rugby Canada for at least another 18 months. Crowley’s been a key figure in reshaping the Canadian men’s program since March of 2008, six months after the RWC 2007.

Less than a third of Canada’s RWC 30-man roster played in the 2007 tournament but Crowley expects “around 80 per cent of our current players should be around in 2015, so we’ll be building toward that.”