Canadian international coach Kieran Crowley has named his squad of 27 players for the upcoming international series in which Canada will take on Georgia, Italy and the United States of America in official test matches. The three test series is the start of a new format, replacing the Churchill Cup and will see Canada face a Tier one touring side each year. Italy are the visitors this year with Ireland and Scotland set to play in Canada over the following two years. The new policy will also see Canada play tier two sides more regularly with Georgia visiting and Canada set to play against Tier Two European sides in away matches in November.
Crowley´s squad for next month features eight professional players with the remainder all playing their rugby in Canada. There have been some changes to the World Cup squad with star secondrower, Jamie Cudmore being rested as he is likely to be playing for Clermont in the Top 14 Final and has had a heavy workload this season with the club. Fellow French based player, Jason Marshall has also been rested while Taylor Paris, Ander Monro and Adam Kleeberger are also not included but they are not at full strength. The team is to have a new captain following the retirement of World Cup captain and vice captain Pat Riordan and Ryan Smith.
The loss of Cudmore, Marshall, Monro and Kleeberger means Canada will be without four first choice players but the North Americans can cover and should still be capable of pushing Italy to the limit. Jebb Sinclair and Tyler Hotson could form the secondrow with Nanyak Dala joining Chauncey O’Toole and Aaron Carpenter in the backrow. Andrew Tiedemann could well be used in place of Marshall in the frontrow while Ryan Hamilton is likely to start at hooker, replacing Riordan. The impressive young Conor Trainor looms as a good replacement for Ryan Smith and could well be one of the players to look out for in the June internationals.
Forwards: Ryan Hamilton, Mike Pletch, Hubert Buydens, Doug Woolridge, Andrew Tiedemann, Jon Phelan, Tyler Hotson, Brett Beukeboom, Jebb Sinclair, Chauncey O’Toole, Nanyak Dala, Aaron Carpenter, Tyler Ardron
Backs: Sean White, Ed Fairhurst, Connor Braid, Matt Evans, DTH Van der Merwe, Mike Scholz, Conor Trainor, Sean Duke, Jeff Hassler, Ciaran Hearn, Phil Mackenzie, James Pritchard, Jamie Mackenzie
Suggested Starting XV
13 van der Merwe