Wednesday, November 12, 2014

International Rugby: Canada team named to face Samoa

Photo Rugby Canada
Canadian rugby head coach Kieran Crowley has named a strong team to face Samoa in an international match this Friday in Vannes, France. Coming off a narrow victory over Namibia in Wales Crowley has made a number of changes as the North Americans are to have their strongest lineup so far this month. Regular captain Tyler Ardron remains sidelined with injury which sees Hubert Buydens holding onto the captaincy. Even without Ardron, however, Canada is still able to field a predominantly professional team. Indeed of the twenty-three players selected to face Samoa the majority are based abroad.


Leading the team at loosehead prop will be Hubert Buydens who is to be joined by former captain Aaron Carpenter and Jason Marshall who, like Buydens, played in New Zealand's domestic championship this year. The all-professional front-row is joined by two professionals in the second-row with Jamie Cudmore of Clermont and Brett Beukeboom of Plymouth Albion both starting. 

While they are professionals Cudmore is unique in being the only player involved in an elite level professional competition. The Clermont Auvergne regular will be joined in the pack by Jebb Sinclair of London Irish who is to play number eight against Samoa. With Sinclair at the back of the scrum the combination of Nanyak Dala and Kyle Gilmour will be utilized as the starting flankers. 

Missing is Canada's leading openside flanker John Moonlight who is back in Victoria, BC resting ahead of the Sevens World Series. He joins Ardron, Matt Evans, Harry Jones, Phil Mack, Phil MacKenzie, Mike Scholz and Liam Underwood on the missing list. With Chauncey O'Toole and Adam Kleeberger not likely to play for Canada again Crowley has named London Welsh's Richard Thorpe as the reserve back-rower. 

Gordon McRorie again holds the starting birth at scrumhalf ahead of Sean White and will partner Connor Braid in the halves. Sean White and Patrick Parfrey are to be their replacements and they will be required to deliver strong performances to give themselves opportunities for test selection in 2015 when Canada will have complete access to players in their positions who are currently sidelined through injury. 

Ciaran Hearn has been one of the leading Canadian backs in recent times and has made the outside centre position his own. He will, however, start against Samoa at inside centre in a move which sees him continuing on from where he featured against Namibia. Conor Trainor is to play outside centre thus retaining the mid-field combination from Wales. 

DTH van der Merwe will move from fullback to wing to face Samoa with regular fullback James Pritchard returning. The starting back-three will be completed by Jeff Hassler who has overcome injury to be declared fit. The Ospreys winger has been Canada's best player abroad so far this season and has earned a reputation making him to arguably be the best winger in Wales.

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Player
Team
Union
1
Hubert Buydens
Manawatu
New Zealand
2
Aaron Carpenter
Cornish Pirates
England
3
Jason Marshall
Hawkes Bay
New Zealand
4
Jamie Cudmore
Clermont
France
5
Brett Beukeboom
Plymouth Albion
England
6
Kyle Gilmour
Prairie Wolfpack
Canada
7
Nanyak Dala
Prairie Wolfpack
Canada
8
Jebb Sinclair
London Irish
England
9
Gordon McRorie
Prairie Wolfpack
Canada
10
Connor Braid
Glasgow Warriors
Scotland
11
DTH van der Merwe
Glagow 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
Jake Ilnicki
NSW Country Eagles
Australia
18
Andrew Tiedemann
Plymouth Albion
England
19
Jon Phelan
Doncaster Knights
England
20
Richard Thorpe
London Welsh
England
21
Sean White
BC Bears
Canada
22
Patrick Parfrey
Atlantic Rock
Canada
23
Jordon Wilson-Ross
Ontario Blues
Canada

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