TORONTO, ON – Canada Head coach Kieran Crowley has made wholesale changes to his lineup for Wednesday’s Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) clash against Samoa at Toronto in BMO Field.
Crowley has made 12 changes to his starting XV after Friday’s 28-18 defeat to Tonga. Captain Tyler Ardron and John Moonlight keep their places at No.8 and openside flanker respectively while Matt Evans moves to the wing after starting the first two PNC games at fullback.
After impressing as a replacement in the first two games, Djustice Sears-Duru will get his first test start for Canada at prop. Ray Barkwill and Doug Wooldridge, who started in Canada’s 20-6 loss to Japan, are recalled to the lineup.
Evan Olmstead will make his test debut for Canada as he will line up alongside Tyler Hotson at lock. Kyle Gilmour, who came off the bench against Tonga, will start at blindside flanker.
Sevens duo Phil Mack and Nathan Hirayama get the nod at scrum and fly half while Nick Blevins and Conor Trainor start in centre. Phil Mackenzie will start on the other wing while Canada’s all-time leading point scorer James Pritchard will see his first action of the 2015 PNC at fullback. If Pritchard can add three points, he will become the 20th player in test history to score 600 points.
Canada has never beaten Samoa in four attempts. The two sides last met in November of last year with Samoa emerging victorious 23-13. Trainor scored Canada’s lone try in the game.
Samoa held off a second half fight back from the USA in their 2015 PNC round 1 matchup as they beat the Eagles 21-16 before drawing 30-30 with Fiji in a wildly exciting fixture in round 2 as Patrick Fa’apale kicked a penalty in the 79th minute to bring Samoa level.
Wednesday’s game can be seen LIVE on TSN 5. Kickoff is 8:30 pm ET / 5:30 pm PT. Also Wednesday, the USA will face Tonga (3:30pm ET/12:30pm PT) and Fiji will battle Japan (6:00pm ET/3:00pm PT), both of which will be shown LIVE on TSN 5. Additionally, all three games can be watched at www.worldrugby.org.
Tickets to Wednesday’s triple-header are available at events.rugbycanada.ca
Canada’s Roster vs. Samoa in the Pacific Nations Cup – (Club), Hometown, Province
1 – Djustice Sears-Duru – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
2 – Ray Barkwill – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
3 – Doug Wooldridge – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
4 – Tyler Hotson – (Doncaster Knights) Vancouver, BC
5 – Evan Olmstead – (Parramatta Two Blues/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
6 – Kyle Gilmour – (Rotherham Titans/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
7 – John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
8 – Tyler Ardron – Captain (Ospreys) Lakefield, ON
9 – Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
10 – Nathan Hirayama – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
11 – Matt Evans – (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
12 – Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
13 – Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
14 – Phil Mackenzie – (Sale Sharks/Ontario Blues), Oakville, ON
15 – James Pritchard – (Bedford Blues) Parkes, NSW, Australia
16 – Benoit Piffero – (Blagnac/Atlantic Rock) Montreal QB
17 – Hubert Buydens – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
18 – Andrew Tiedemann – (Plymouth Albion/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
19 – Callum Morrison – (UBC Old Boys Ravens/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
20 – Thyssen de Goede – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
21 – Richard Thorpe – (London Welsh) Beckenham, England
22 – Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
23 – Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
Canada Senior Men’s Schedule:
Pacific Nations Cup:
July 18 – Canada 6-20 Japan (San Jose, USA)
July 24 – Canada 18-28 Tonga (Swangard Stadium, Burnaby)
July 29 – Canada vs. Samoa (BMO Field, Toronto)
August 3 – Canada vs. TBD (Swangard Stadium, Burnaby)
Road to the Rugby World Cup:
August 22 – Canada vs. USA (Twin Elm Rugby Park, Ottawa)
August 29 – Canada vs. Glasgow Warriors (Wanderers Grounds, Halifax)
September 2 – Canada vs. Georgia (Esher, England)
September 6 – Canada vs. Fiji (The Stoop, England)
Rugby World Cup:
September 19 – Canada vs. Ireland (Cardiff, Wales)
September 26 – Canada vs. Italy (Leeds, England)
October 1 – Canada vs. France (Milton Keynes, England)
October 6 – Canada vs. Romania (Leicester, England)