For a minute, it just looked like David Jones had fallen, injured on the rugby field. He collided with two other players and hit the ground.
It was all a ruse to get his girlfriend Terri Burns, an athletic therapist working the game, to run out and check on him. When she did, he pulled out a ring and proposed marriage.
It was the culmination of a rugby romance at the Cardinal Newman Secondary School field in Stoney Creek on Saturday. Jones plays for the Stoney Creek Camels men’s team. Burns, an athletic therapist who works with Team Ontario rugby, plays for the Stoney Creek women’s team. The pair live in Burlington.
‘I was starting to get worried that someone would let the secret out of the bag, or I’d get injured for real.’– David Jones, newly engaged rugby player
Their relationship has always included rugby in some way. They met when Burns worked at the Ontario Summer Games and Jones brought an injured rugby player to her for treatment. They celebrated their first anniversary of dating by traveling to Lake Placid to play in a CanAm rugby tournament.
Burns also does athletic therapy at a clinic in Mississauga, while Jones runs KidsPlay Sports in Burlington. He also coaches rugby at Westdale Secondary School.
Burns doesn’t usually do athletic therapy for her boyfriend’s team, but Jones arranged for the usual therapist to call in sick. Just before the halfway point of the game, Jones, 38, hit the ground with an apparent knee injury. Burns, 28, ran out to help.
She got to her knees, which she does to get level with the players she’s helping. He told her to stand up. When she did, the referee handed him the engagement ring.
‘Are you f–king kidding me?’– Terri Burns, in shock over her boyfriend’s wedding proposal
“I’ll be OK if you spend the rest of my life with me,” he said. “Will you marry me?”
“Are you serious?” asked a stunned Burns. “Are you f–king kidding me?”
Several friends took video of the moment, which has been shared hundreds of times on social media.
Jones is glad it was captured. He spent more than a year planning the proposal.
“I was starting to get worried that someone would let the secret out of the bag, or I’d get injured for real before I could do it,” he said. But “everything went off without a hitch.”