The Canadian rugby team may have played their final game of the World Cup, but it didn’t stop them staying behind to help clean up a typhoon-ravaged Kamaishi.
The Rugby World Cup Pool B match between Namibia and Canada was scheduled to be contested later on Sunday in Kamaishi but was cancelled because of the destruction caused by Typhoon Hagibis, World Rugby said.
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But despite not progressing, it didn’t stop the Canadian players staying around to lend a helping hand to locals of the community after news Typhoon Hagibis killed 23 people across Japan and shut down Tokyo.
Players were filmed with shovels scooping up mud and clearing the devastation left behind.
Following the cancellation of their match in Kamaishi, @RugbyCanada players headed out to help with recovery efforts, showing the true values of the game.— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 13, 2019
Amazing scenes and brilliant to see from the team. #RWC2019 pic.twitter.com/jdXQlyD2ZM
"Four of us are staying on tomorrow to do a community barbecue," said captain Tyler Ardron.
"There's a bunch of Canadian guys that have rented a house here, made it a 'Canada House', so we'll do whatever we can to help.
"We were hoping that we would just go out and mingle, interact and just get to know some people but it looks like we might have other things to pitch in."
"What we want to do today, if we can, is get out in the community and help. We've been hosted so well. We want to give back all we can," he added.
World Cup organizers chose to hold two matches in the remote town of Kamaishi in a bid to aid the region's recovery after it was devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Worth bonus points! 🙌— Robbie McEwen AM (@mcewenrobbie) October 13, 2019
Massive respect to such beautiful people!— Yuko Uchida (@YukoUuk) October 13, 2019
More than 1,000 people were killed or went missing in Kamaishi following the tsunami. Uruguay beat Fiji in Kamaishi earlier in the tournament.
Canadian coach Kingsley Jones said losing out on playing against Namibia was a blow for his team as it was their best chance to win a match at the World Cup.
"Right now it is a bit of an empty feeling," said the Welshman.
"I felt today against the opposition that are a good team, that performed well in the World Cup, about the same level as us, we could see where we stand and I believe we would have won today.
"I think that would have given us a sense of an outcome. This feels like there's no outcome at the moment."
Canada have appeared at every Rugby World Cup with their best showing being a quarter-final berth in 1991.