Ro Hindson was a massive influence throughout his playing career for Brentwood College and two universities as well as for his club, province and country. His physical assets of height, speed, power, agility and hand and foot skills made him suitable for both the 15 a-side and 7 a-side versions of rugby.
When Hindson retired in 1990, he had received the most ‘caps’ for having played against another country in the history of Canadian rugby with 31 to his credit. In the days before the Law allowed players to be lifted in the lineout as they are today, his 6’ 5” height made him a constant threat for his foes.With his size, his partnership with Hans de Goede in the
second row of the scrummage was well-known to all rugby followers. Hindson’s pace and athleticism around the field was such that from 1980 to 1987 he was also on the Canadian squad that competed in the world’s premier seven-a-side event – the Hong Kong Sevens.
Recognized by adversaries and team mates as a player with much ability, Hindson first played for British Columbia against New Zealand in 1972 and was first capped for Canada in 1973 against Wales. In his early days he was also a goal kicker but it was his formidable presence as a multi-skilled player in all phases of the game that attracted the attention of the Canadian selectors. When he was a student at UBC he also played against New South Wales Country (Australia) (1974), Japan (1976) and Bridgend (Wales) (1979).
In 1974, when Hindson was selected by the Irish Rugby Football Union to represent Canada during the Union’s Centenary season, he was among the first Canadian rugby players to be recognized by overseas authorities for his exceptional abilities. Hindson played for the Irish Wolfhounds against Connacht and Leinster and was a reserve for the President’s XV against the complete Ireland team. In the latter game, players from six other International Rugby Board countries were in the starting lineup. In 1987, when South Pacific Barbarians went on their internal tour of South Africa, Hindson was the only Canadian player invited to join this select group of international players from the South Pacific countries.
These two events which were thirteen years apart, and the fact that Hindson was invited to them, in two world-class countries a long way from both each other and from Canada, is an indication of the respect he was given by Ireland and the South Pacific nations. These are achievements that no other Canadian player can put on his resume.
In 1987, when Canada was included in the first Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, Hindson was an obvious selection as Canada’s most capped international player and he played in two of the three matches. Hindson’s occupation as a fruit farmer in Naramata after leaving university required that travelling to matches was difficult and, subsequently, he had to turn down several opportunities to play for his club as well as for British Columbia and Canada. When he retired in 1990 he was still Canada’s the leading cap-winner.
Canadian rugby has had few legends in its history but Hindson has earned that recognition after representing his country both at home and abroad for 18 years in three decades, and selection to the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame would be verification.