Thursday, November 20, 2014

International Rugby: Canada change three for Romania

Photo:  Jose Lagman
Canadian rugby head coach Kieran Crowley has made three changes to his starting lineup for Saturday's international match against Romania in Bucharest. Named for the first time since June is captain Tyler Ardron who will form a noteworthy back-row together with Jebb Sinclair and Nanyak Dala. With the match being a preview of next year's pool fixture both teams have everything to play for. The fixture is also a repeat of that from last November in which the Eastern Europeans won 21-20 in the final play of the match. 


Canada's four match European tour features three tests, the third of which will be in Bucharest this Saturday. Canada is coming off a sound performance against Samoa in Vannes and an underwhelming, but victorious outing in Colwyn Bay. The test this Saturday will be Canada's only match of the tour as a visiting team due to the others having been at neutral venues.

Romania is coming off losses against the USA and Japan but is not a team to be taken lightly as, indeed twelve months ago the Oaks defeated Canada. Romania's loss against Japan this past weekend was of note for the manner in which Japan won. Despite it having a strong reputation the Asian nation was unable to score a try.

Romania's forwards impressed and Canada has names a strong pack in response. Hubert Buydens and Jason Marshall will need to transfer their experiences from playing in New Zealand as they prop the scrum in a front-row featuring former back-rower Aaron Carpenter. The same trio is a strong chance of starting at Rugby World Cup 2015. 

Jamie Cudmore and Jon Phelan are to lock the scrum and will be joined by a back-row of Jebb Sinclair, Nanyak Dala and Tyler Ardron. It is a back-five forward unit of note with it possessing strong ball carriers and defenders. With the exception of John Moonlight who is training for Sevens it is Canada's strongest possible combination. 

A number of players are missing to injury including first choice scrumhalf Phil Mack and fly halves Harry Jones, Matt Evans and Liam Underwood. Canada is thus to start Gordon McRorie and Patrick Parfrey in the halves. Joining them are former wingers Ciaran Hearn and Conor Trainor who will offer good go-forward ball in the mid-field.

Wingers Taylor Paris and Phil MacKenzie are both missing through injury but neither would likely start as DTH van der Merwe and Jeff hassler have been Canada's outstanding professional backs in recent seasons. The Scottish and Welsh based players will be joined in the back-three by Canada's all-time leading point scorer James Pritchard who also plays his rugby in Britain.

#
Player
Team
Union
1
Hubert Buydens
Manawatu
New Zealand
2
Aaron Carpenter
Cornish Pirates
England
3
Jason Marshall
Hawke’s Bay
New Zealand
4
Jamie Cudmore
Clermont
France
5
Jon Phelan
Doncaster Knights
England
6
Jebb Sinclair
London Irish
England
7
Nanyak Dala
Prairie Wolfpack
Canada
8
Tyler Ardron
Ospreys
Wales
9
Gordon McRorie
Prairie Wolfpack
Canada
10
Patrick Parfrey
Atlantic Rock
Canada
11
DTH van der Merwe
Glasgow Warriors
Scotland
12
Ciaran Hearn
Atlantic Rock
Canada
13
Conor Trainor
BC Bears
Canada
14
Jeff Hassler
Ospreys
Wales
15
James Pritchard
Bedford Blues
England
16
Ray Barkwill
Ontario Blues
Canada
17
Andrew Tiedemann
Plymouth Albion
England
18
Doug Wooldridge
Ontario Blues
Canada
19
Kyle Gilmour
Prairie Wolfpack
Canada
20
Richard Thorpe
London Welsh
England
21
Sean White
BC Bears
Canada
22
Jordon Wilson-Ross
Ontario Blues
Canada
23
Nick Blevins
Prairie Wolfpack
Canada

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