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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 August, 2003, 19:29 GMT 20:29 UK
Baugh woe for Canada
Dan Baugh
Dan Baugh has just signed a new contract with Cardiff Blues
A dispute over insurance means that Dan Baugh will not play for Canada at this autumn's Rugby World Cup.

The hard-hitting back-row man, who played every game for Canada in the 1999 tournament, will instead turn out for Cardiff Blues in the Celtic Cup and League.

The insurance issue was raised over a year ago, meaning that Rugby Canada introduced a scheme covering their professional players for 80% of their contracts for a period of six months.

But with the 28-year-old Baugh having just signed a new two-year contract with the Cardiff club the cover was deemed insufficient.

"I'm disappointed because of Dan's services to our game and the fear factor which he would have brought in for our game against Wales," Canada coach Dave Clark told BBC Wales Sport.

"We had a positive meeting with him and Cardiff last November and he wanted to play in the World Cup, but the sticking point was getting insurance if any of his injuries flared up.

Our goal is to reach the quarter-finals in Brisbane which means we have to beat Wales, Italy and Tonga - and that's definitely an achievable goal
Canada coach Dave Clark
"We (Rugby Canada) sorted out a six month cut-off date for insurance - which is more than reasonable - but if Dan had a career-ending injury we couldn't cover the substantial amount of money he would be owed from his club contract."

Clark did leave the door open for Baugh to make an international return after the autumn tournament.

"Right now Dan's made a decision not to play in the World Cup - after that it's up to him," said the coach.

Despite the setback, Clark is pleased with the progress being made by his team as they build for the World Cup, where they will face Wales, New Zealand, Italy and Tonga in Pool D.

He is confident that all of the national team's other professional stars playing overseas will be available for selection.

"Rod Snow, John Thiel, John Tait, Mike James, Morgan Williams - all the boys with professional contracts will be playing in the World Cup," said Clark.

"The only one we don't have is Dan Baugh.

"We've just had a tough encounter with the New Zealand Maoris where we improved well over the two games (Canada lost 27-65 and 9-30).

"Our goal is to reach the quarter-finals in Brisbane which means we have to beat Wales, Italy and Tonga - and that's definitely an achievable goal."





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