Two hours before Canada was due to kick off against the French in Rugby World Cup 2011 Pool A action, fullback James Pritchard received the news his partner Jenni had given birth to a baby girl.
The baby was due Sept. 16, but waited until her father was prepping to take on the French before making her way into the world and so Rugby World Cup baby Hayden Emily Pritchard was born, weighing in at six pounds, seven ounces.
"It was hard to concentrate knowing I had just had a baby girl," Pritchard said following Canada's 46-19 loss to France. "Just before the game it was hard to concentrate, but once the game started it was all rugby."
Hayden is Pritchard's second child, along with 18-month-old son Lucas. And Pritchard wasn't the only one to travel to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup, as his partner's parents have also made their way down for the tournament, with Pritchard's mother making her way over from Australia to help look after Jenni, Lucas and baby Hayden.
While he had a game to focus on, the 32-year-old made sure to call Jenni before he took to the field.
"I gave her a call. She was quite tired and Hayden was sleeping on her."
Pritchard and his family live in England, where he plays professional rugby with the Bedford Blues. The fullback is Canada's third-highest scorer of all time, with 398 points scored over a 41 capped appearances for Canada.
So far in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, he has scored 18 points for Canada, kicking two penalty goals and two conversions against Tonga and two penalty goals and one conversion against France.
While disappointed by Canada's loss to France in Napier on Sunday, he smiled as he spoke of never forgetting where he was when he heard he had a new baby girl.
"I wasn't able to be there, but I'll definitely remember where I was," he said. "It would have been even better to remember if we were able to turn the French."
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