Lloyd gets shot on international stage

Kainoa Lloyd recently joined Rugby Canada’s “A” development team in Uruguay

Kainoa Lloyd is in his fifth-year at Queen’s.
Kainoa Lloyd is in his fifth-year at Queen’s.
Journal File Photo

While his Gaels were busy extending their perfect record, Kainoa Lloyd was spending his time in Uruguay making a name for himself. 

In an extension of Canada’s men’s rugby program, Lloyd recently attended the Americas Pacific Challenge as he continued to build his international rugby profile. This was Lloyd’s second appearance at the event and his fourth international appearance for Canada in the past 12 months.

“It’s always an honour playing for the team whether you win or lose,” Lloyd said a day after coming off a 24-hour travel day from Uruguay to Kingston.

With young players looking to join the national team every year, the Americas Pacific Challenge serves as a way for players to show their skill on the international stage. The fifth-year wing was one of just 28 Canadian athletes selected to the event. Upon arriving, athletes spent the first week training under some of Canada’s best coaches. 

Although the level of play was a significant shift for Lloyd, he found that he handled it with relative ease.

“This has only been a year of me playing at this level so it really is a bit new to me…I just take it one step at a time and try to improve my game,” Lloyd said.

Despite this being his second time at the tournament, Lloyd didn’t change his mindset from other international competitions. He continued to focus on competing and learning as much as he could from those around him. 

Despite the distance of the trip, Lloyd said he felt comfortable because of the familiar faces on the team. Lloyd was joined by former Gael Lucas Rumball, as well as other players he grew up playing with and against.

Since the trip took two weeks, Lloyd had to miss two games for Queen’s. The Gaels had no trouble with his absence though, as they extended their undefeated streak by a combined 148-15 score against the Brock Badgers and the University of Toronto.

“We brought a lot of depth on the team…so it’s not like they’re being thrown into a place they haven’t been in before,” Lloyd said. He added that it’s never been easy to miss out on playing for Queen’s. “It kind of sucks to miss games…it’s really enjoyable and I don’t ever want to let the team down.”

With this being his fifth and final season at Queen’s, Lloyd is very clear on his goals as a player. While continuing his studies in Canada or abroad, Lloyd hopes to compete on the world stage in his time after Queen’s.

“The goal is to hopefully go to the World Cup. It’s in 2019 so it’s a while away,” Lloyd said.

To participate at the World Cup, Lloyd knows he will need more opportunities to impress nationally. It’s something he hopes continues as part of his development as a rugby player. 

“I just really hope I get selected for more of these things and get a chance…it’s definitely worth it,” Lloyd said.

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