Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team will continue their preparation

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Fixtures against RFU Championship XV, Namibia, Samoa and Romania in UK and Europe for Canada in preparation for 2015 Rugby World Cup

(ISN) – LANGFORD, BC – Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team will continue their preparation for next year’s Rugby World Cup by embarking on their year-end tour to the United Kingdom and Europe beginning next week.

Ahead of next Tuesday’s departure, Canada Head Coach Kieran Crowley has named a long list of players to be available throughout the four-week tour. Lead by Captain Tyler Ardron and veterans Jamie Cudmore, DTH van der Merwe, Aaron Carpenter and Hubert Buydens, Canada’s roster boasts a wealth of international experience and talent.

The first stop on Canada’s year-end to Europe in November is Worcester where they will face an RFU Championship XV side at Sixways on Sunday, November 2nd. The side will then move to North Wales to meet fellow England 2015 qualifier Namibia (22nd ranked) at Colwyn Bay on Friday the 7th.

Following that test match, Canada will depart for Vannes, France for a fixture against ninth ranked Samoa on the 14th before ending the tour on the 22nd in Bucharest against 16th ranked Romania.

Following losses in June to Japan, Scotland and USA, Canada’s focus is on building momentum and a winning culture ahead of England 2015, rugby’s pinnacle event.

“The team was unhappy with the June results and is looking to get back to winning ways. There were positives from June especially the performance against Scotland but this is a group is working hard to learn how to close out games and win the close ones,” said Gareth Rees, National Team manager.

The long list of players announced includes 33 names, along with six players who are unavailable due to injury. With 26 players allowed on international rosters, Canada’s coaching staff will be managing the player availability throughout the tour.

“The fixture against the RFU Championship XV is outside the IRB Test window and therefore it is not mandatory for professional clubs to release Canadian players,” said Rees.

“In this a World Cup year, our focus is on preparing for September 2015 and a big part of that is ensuring all of our players have a healthy relationship with their professional clubs,” added the National Men’s Program Manager. It is those clubs that play a huge role in supporting our athletes in their build up to RWC.

Canada’s coaching staff will also be taking into consideration players who do double duty for both the National Fifteens and Sevens Teams, and will manage their game time ahead of the Dubai and South Africa legs of the Sevens World Series in December.

Making their first jump from the Canadian Rugby Championship (CRC) and IRB Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) to Canada’s National Team for legs of the November Tour include Ontario Blues products Jordan Wilson-Ross and Seb Pearson. The CRC and ARC are important parts of the domestic component of Rugby Canada’s High Performance Team’s National Pathway.

The eighth edition of the World Cup gets underway on September 19, 2015 for Canada against Ireland, and will also include test matches against Italy, France and finally Romania on September 26, October 1 and 6 respectively. Canada’s World Cup venues include Cardiff’s Millenium Stadium, Elland Road in Leeds, Stadiummk in Milton Keynes, and finally Leicester City Stadium.

With the latter of those venues being close to the RFU Championship XV fixture at Sixways, Canada will have the opportunity to train at one of next year’s home bases.

“We’re delighted to be using one of our bases for next year’s RWC during our November tour, as it will give us an opportunity for players and extra staff to gain familiarity ahead of the RWC,” added Rees.

Ultimately, each of the Canadian players selected to compete in either the full or partial legs of the November Tour will understand that World Cup selection is looming. Crowley, along with assistant coaches Neil Barnes, Scott Hansen and Mike Shelley, will use the next four weeks to prepare and analyze the team before a busy and exciting 2015.


Tyler Ardron – Captain (Ospreys/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
Ray Barkwill – (Niagara Wasps RFC/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Connor Braid – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Brett Buekeboom – (Plymouth Albion) Lindsay, ON
Hubert Buydens – (Manawatu Turbos/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Aaron Carpenter – (Cornish Pirates RFC) Brantford, ON
Jamie Cudmore – (ASM Clermont Auvergne) Squamish, BC
Nanyak Dala (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Regina, SK
Sean Duke, (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Kyle Gilmour – (St. Albert RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Ryan Hamilton, (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Jeff Hassler – (Ospreys/Prairie Wolf Pack) Okotoks, AB
Ciaran Hearn – (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
Tyler Hotson – (London Scottish RFC) Vancouver, BC
Jake Ilnicki – (NSW County Eagles/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
Jamie Mackenzie – (UVIC Vikes/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Jason Marshall – (Hawkes Bay Magpies/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Patrick Parfrey, (Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock) St. Johns, NL
Taylor Paris – (SU Agen Lot-et-Garonne) Barrie, ON
Seb Pearson, (London St. George’s/Ontario Blues) London, ON
Jon Phelan – (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
James Pritchard – (Bedford Blues) Parkes, NSW, Australia
Jebb Sinclair – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Fredericton, NB
Richard Thorpe – (London Welsh) Beckenham, Kent, England
Andrew Tiedemann – (Plymouth Albion/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
DTH van der Merwe – (Glasgow Warriors) Regina, SK
Sean White – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Jordan Wilson-Ross, (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Alliston, ON
Doug Wooldridge – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON

Unavailable due to injury:

Matt Evans – (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
Harry Jones – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Phil Mackenzie – (Sale Sharks) Oakville, ON
Mike Scholz – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Liam Underwood – (Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON

Canada’s Men’s Team Staff:

Kieran Crowley – Head Coach
Gareth Rees – Manager
Neil Barnes – Assistant Coach
Scott Hanson – Attack coach
Mike Shelley – Scrum Coach
Andy Evans – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Calum Ramsay – Performance Analyst
Alana Gattinger – Team Services

Support Staff

Mike Cook – Therapist
Danielle Mah (First 2 games) Carla Brash (Second 2 games) – Supporting Therapists


Canada XV vs. RFU Championship XV
November 2, 2014
Sixways Stadium, Worcester, England
Kick off: 3:15pm local time (10:15am ET/7:15am PT)

Canada vs. Namibia
November 7, 2014
Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, Wales
Kick off: 7pm local time (2pm ET/11am PT)

Canada vs. Samoa
November 14, 2014
Stade de la Rabine, Vannes, France
Kick off: 7pm local time (1pm ET/10am PT)

Canada vs. Romania
November 22, 2014
Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest
Kick off: 6:30pm local time (11:30am ET/8:30am PT)