|Conor Trainor will start against Uruguay|
Today marks the start of six weeks of action involving Canadian rugby playing a mixture of test match rugby and non-capped matches against sides from Rugby World Cup competing nations. With the North American nation having qualified for Rugby World Cup 2014 during the summer the next six weeks are to be all about identifying players and building a team in time for England / Wales 2015.
The first match starts this evening in western Canada with Canada facing Uruguay in a non-international match which is officially being played between the A sides of both nations. Due to the Americas Rugby Championship taking place outside of the November and June international windows clubs are not obligated to release players. While it means teams are understrength it nonetheless offers them all a unique opportunity of testing their depth as the leading domestic based players are able to have a chance at facing their peers in what are the four leading rugby nations from the Americas.
The Canadian team named for today´s encounter features two leading players who are on the come back path from injury. Adam Kleeberger will start in the back-row while Conor Trainor will start in the mid-field in combination with Mike Scholtz. Although both Kleeberger and Trainor were amongst Canada´s leading players at Rugby World Cup 2011 neither player is guaranteed a spot in the squad to face the Maori All Blacks in Toronto or face Georgia, Romania and Portugal in Europe in November. Such has been the impressiveness of others in their places that right now Canada has reason to feel confident of building it´s best team for a Rugby World Cup than all others in the professional era.
In his short international career Trainor has scored four tries in seven tests and like the Scottish and English based DTH van der Merwe and Phil MacKenzie he is capable of playing at either centre or on the wing. Trainor scored Canada´s only try in the 2012 match against Italy in which the North Americans pushed Italy hard and had a chance of victory. Kleeberger was not involved but the young Tyler Ardron was and with John Moonlight also having been playing very well recently the Americas Rugby Championship will give Canada´s players a lot to play for.
The side to face Uruguay today should be far too strong despite it missing the European and New Zealand based professional players. With there being no Aaron Carpenter the match sees Andrew Tiedemann named as captain. He will start at loosehead prop, the position usually occupied by the Manawatu Turbos prop Hubert Buydens.
1 Andrew Tiedemann, 2 Micha Gorvorchin, 3 Jake Illnicki
4 Hank McQueen, 5 Aaron Flagg
6 Callum Morrison, 8 Zac Coughlan, 7 Adam Kleeberger
9 Jamie Mackenzie, 10 Jack Fitzpatrick,
12 Mike Scholz, 13 Conor Trainor
11 Joe Dolesau, 15 Adam McQueen, 14 Duncan Maguire
16 Ray Barkwill
17 Doug Wooldridge
18 Ryan March
19 Kyle Baille
20 Matt Heaton
21 Alistair Clark
22 Sean White
23 Jordan Wilson-Ross
1 R. de Mula, 2 A. Avalo, 3 F. Jimenez
4 A. Nieto, 5 S. Vilaseca
6) J. de Freitas, 8 D. Magno, 7 F. Lamanna
9 A. Durán, 10 R. Silva
12 A. Vilaseca, 13 J. Prada
11 P. Bueno, 15 G. Mieres. 14 S. Martinez
16 J. Etcheverría
17 J. Astigarraga
18 J.P Rombys
19 Matías Beer
20 F. Bascou
21 Agustín Alonso
22 A. Indarte
23 S. Core
The Americas Rugby Championship´s first round matches will be broadcast live today. They can be watched here, on the official site.