Gareth Rees
Inducted 2007
Destined for greatness since his days at Victoria's St. Michael's University School, Gareth Rees participated in an unprecedented four Rugby World Cups - 1987, 1991, 1995 and 1999 - and was the captain 1995 and 1999. After receiving his first under-19 cap in 1985 as captain against England Colts he attended Harrow School in England and in 1986 he was again captain when Canada under-19 defeated Welsh Youth. That year, Rees also received his first senior cap against the USA, thereby having the distinction of being Canada's only player capped at both the under-19 and senior level in the same year. Though he was one of the youngest players at age 19 in the 1987 World Cup, his previous year's learning with Harrow,
Middlesex, Wasps in the 1986 John Player Cup final and on Rugby Canada's tour to Ireland was put to good use.
Rees' appearances at the Hong Kong and Sydney Sevens in 1988 brought attention to both his versatility and to his captaincy skills which were revealed in British Columbia's centenary matches against Japan, Ireland, New Zealand and Wales B in 1989.
During the 1990's, Rees was Canada's most recognized player on the world rugby stage where his peerless goal-kicking won countless matches, especially Canada's 1993 match against Wales in Cardiff. After playing for University of Victoria, Castaway Wanderers, Vancouver Island Crimson Tide, British Columbia and Canada. Rees pursued a career overseas with Newport, Bedford, Merignac, Wasps and Harlequins. He won two 'Blues' while attending Oxford University in the annual Varsity match and played for the Barbarians three times on their Easter tour of south Wales and again against Leicester. Other overseas representation included appearances with La Cote D'Argent, Public School Wanderers, Penguins, Irish Wolfhounds, Major Stanley XV and Crawshays XV.
While with Wasps in 1996-97, he was the top point scorer in England's Courage League Division One won by Wasps. In 1997, he captained Wasps against a World XV for the Sanyo Cup. Playing fullback in May, 1999, he equaled the individual record for a Cup final with 16 points when Wasps captured the Tetley's Bitter Cup and the English League knockout club title.
When Rees captained Canada in the 1999 rugby World Cup in France, he made all 19 attempted kicks at goal. He retired from international play with a total of 492 points in 55 appearances for Canada, 25 of them as captain. In 2000, the Rugby Union Writers Club of Britain awarded him its Special Award, only the sixth person to be honoured.
The two-time University of Victoria Athlete was also inducted into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame and truly left an indelible mark on the game with his accomplishments and longevity both in British Columbia and overseas.
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