Ian Birtwell - B.C. Rugby Union Hall of Fame Induction (Builder Category)

By Brent Frid

Ian began coaching before his playing days ended with the Meraloma Juniors. Once he finished playing, Ian turned his full rugby attention to coaching. As Head Coach, Ian led the Meraloma Club to three consecutive B.C. 1st XV Championships (no Premier in those days) 1986,'87,'88.

In 1988, Ian took on the role of Head Coach for the B.C, Senior Men's team, and in 1989 - the B.C. Rugby Union's centennial season - B.C. defeated Ontario & Newfoundland to win the Canadian Senior Championships.

In late '89, Ian became the Head Coach of the Canadian Senior Men's National team that was preparing for the 1991 Rugby World Cup in Europe. Ian led Canada to a quarter final finish, falling to the All Blacks 29 - 13 in Lille, France. This placed Canada 8th in the world, a ranking position that they have yet to return to.

Ian, also as Head Coach, took Canada to the '95 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. In a pool with Australia, Romania, and eventual Champions South Africa, Canada failed to advance from their pool, managing just a single victory vs. Romania. Ian retired from International coaching following the '95 Rugby World Cup.

The induction ceremony will be held on January 13, 2018 at the Element Vancouver Meterotown Hotel in Burnaby.

By Brent Frid  

The Image below isn't the best quality, so we'll take another jpeg if anyone has one of Ian.