New Orleans Gold & Hubert Buyden’s Rugby Journey
New Orleans Gold Rugby confirmed that Hubert Buydens, who has 43 caps for Canada at loosehead prop, has joined the team. Buydens was a starter for 33 of these matches and was a starter in the eight matches that he played for Canada at the Rugby World Cups in 2011 and 2015.
His first international test cap was obtained in the Canada v England A (Saxons) match in Toronto, Jun 10, 2006. His 43rd cap was earned as Canada’s captain during the Americas Rugby Championship match between Chile and Canada at Santiago, Chile on March 5, 2016.
After the ARC, he joined the San Diego Breakers in PRO Rugby for their inaugural 2016 season until an ACL injury prematurely ended his season on June 12, 2016 against the Ohio Aviators. This also made him unavailable for November, 2016 and June, 2017 test matches.
He has returned to playing rugby and is current team is the Castaway Wanderers of the British Columbia Premiership and he also has played with the Prairie Wolfpack in the Canadian Rugby Championship.
In October he will captain the Canada A team in Montevideo, Uruguay at the Americas Pacific Challenge. The team will play October 7, 11, and 15 where they will play against the Argentina XV, Tonga A and the USA Selects, respectively.
Hubert Buydens Rugby vs. Football Choices
Buydens in a native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and was active as an athlete playing hockey, basketball and soccer before turning to rugby with the Saskatoon Wild Oats Rugby Club.
According to the Globe and Mail, Inc., he also played football at Walter Murray Collegiate, and won three junior national titles with the Saskatoon Hilltops of the Prairie Football Conference. He was considered one of the country’s best linemen over his five years in university football. While playing football, he also played rugby for the Prairie Fire, Castaway Wanderers and Prairie Wolf Pack, until he decided to devote his attention fully to rugby.
Buydens then compared rugby and football to the Globe and Mail saying that “The mentality is similar at the positions I played in both sports though.” “It’s a very physical battle up front as a prop, and I do a lot of work that doesn’t get recognized by many outside rugby; same as an O-lineman, who doesn’t get recognized as much as a quarterback or a receiver.”
Buydens and New Zealand Rugby
In March, 2013 Buydens went to New Zealand and played for the New Plymouth Old Boys, who played in the Taranaki RFU’s Senior A competition. Patrick Johnston of The Province, discussed Buydens signing in New Zealand and provided a better understanding of the Taranaki competition be speaking with Taranaki Daily News rugby writer Glenn McLean.
McLean indicated that the Taranaki competition is among New Zealand’s best. “I would put it in the top six in the country behind Auckland, Canterbury, Wellington and Waikato,” he said. “There is no doubt the standard has diminished since Super Rugby squads have increased but it still has a large number of provincial players involved.”
“Physically, it’s a standard that shouldn’t be too much of a transition for these two Canadian caps; it’s the rugby sense that will be a tougher adaptation. The BC Premier League is of a good standard on its own, but no one would argue that a league dominated by Canadian-trained players, most of whom learned the game as teenagers or older, will see play develop as quickly as it would in a league stocked with players who’ve been training since they were toddlers. That’s just reality.”
Buydens talent was recognized in New Zealand, as he was signed by the Manawatu Turbos of the ITM Cup. “Buydens played 16 games for the Turbos over the 2013 and 2014 ITM Cup competitions. His commitment and work rate sets him apart from the rest and his relentless determination makes him a huge asset to the Turbos forward pack.”
He also was scheduled to return to the team after the 2016 PRO Rugby season, until his ACL injury curtailed that plan.
Major League Rugby
On September 25, 2017, Rugby Canada announced their roster for the Americas Pacific Challenge in Uruguay. In the article Hubert Buydens was listed as playing for the New Orleans Gold/Prairie Wolf Pack. That same day, Bryan Ray of Americas Rugby News, broke the story of Buydens signing with the New Orleans Gold.
After receiving confirmation of his signing from the New Orleans Gold Rugby Club, I profiled Buydens rugby involvement.
New Orleans Gold Rugby Club
- Nate Osborne – Head Coach
- Todd Fitzgerald – Assistant Head Coach and Assistant General Manager
- Sebastián Kalm – Backrow
- Moni Tongauiha – Center
- Hubert Buydens – Loosehead prop
- Eric Howard – Hooker
- Ratu Peceli Rinakama – Flyhalf, Scrum-half, Wing, Fullback
- Bobby Johns – Center, Flyhalf, Scrumhalf
- Matt Hughston – Center, Flanker
- Jojo Tikoisuva – Wing
- Tim Falcon – Owner
- JP Eloff – Flyhalf, Center, Fullback
- Ryan Fitzgerald – General Manager
- Holden Youngert – Scrum-half
- Michael Baska – Fullback
- Derrek Van Klein – Loosehead Prop
- Myles McQuone – Lock