12 changes to Canada’s starting roster to face USA at Swangard

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BURNABY, BC – Canada Head Coach Kieran Crowley has made 12 changes for Monday’s Pacific Nations Cup matchup against the USA in Burnaby, British Columbia.

John Moonlight, Kyle Gilmour and Conor Trainor are the only players to maintain their spot in the starting XV. Captain Tyler Ardron, who will be out of action with an injury, is replace by Richard Thorpe at No.8.

Aaron Carpenter will captain the side in Ardron’s absence as he starts at hooker, while Hubert Buydens and Jake Ilnicki start either side at prop.

Ilnicki makes his return to the international fold after a brief absence. Ilnicki has six test caps to his name and was recently playing in Australia for the Eastern Suburbs RFC of the National Rugby Championship, the highest level of domestic rugby in the country (excluding Super Rugby).

Jon Phelan and Brett Beukeboom are recalled and will start at lock with Moonlight, Gilmour and Thorpe occupying the back row.

Jamie Mackenzie will see action for the first time in the PNC as he starts at scrum half in place of Gordon McRorie who sustained an injury Wednesday against Samoa.

Trainor and Jeff Hassler will man the wings with Ciaran Hearn and Connor Braid starting at centre. Harry Jones gets the nod at fullback.

Nanyak Dala is called back into the squad after recovering from a tricep injury and is on the replacements bench. He tore his bicep last year that caused him to miss the majority of the 2014-15 season but he returned to help the Prairie Wolf Pack claim their first Canadian Rugby Championship in July. However, he injured his tricep in the final against the Ontario Blues causing him to miss the first three rounds of the PNC. Dala has 31 test caps, scoring four tries in the process, and was a member of the 2011 World Cup squad.

Andrew Tiedemann is also unavailable after sustaining an injury Wednesday.

Canada is winless so far in the 2015 PNC after a narrow loss to Samoa Wednesday while the USA picked up their lone win against Japan in Round 2.

The two sides have met more than 50 times, with Canada holding a 38-13-1 record over their rivals south of the border.

Monday’s match will be the first of two straight meetings between the two sides as they are set to face off again on August 22ndin Ottawa.

Tickets for Monday’s match are still available at events.rugbycanada.ca. Also Monday, Tonga will face Japan while Fiji will battle Samoa for the PNC title. All three games will be shown LIVE on TSN.

Tonga vs. Japan – 2pm ET/11am PT

Canada vs. USA – 5pm ET/2pm PT

Fiji vs. Samoa – 8pm ET/5pm PT

Canada’s Roster vs. USA in the Pacific Nations Cup – (Club), Hometown, Province


1 – Hubert Buydens – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK

2 – Aaron Carpenter – Captain (Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON 

3 – Jake Ilnicki – (Eastern Suburbs RFC/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC

4 – Jon Phelan – (Doncaster Knights/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QB

5 – Brett Beukeboom – (Cornish Pirates) Lindsay, ON

6 – Kyle Gilmour – (Rotherham Titans/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB

7 – John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON

8 – Richard Thorpe – (London Welsh) Beckenham, England

9 – Jamie Mackenzie – (UBCOB Ravens/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON

10 – Liam Underwood – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON

11 – Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

12 – Connor Braid – (Unattached/BC Bears) Victoria, BC

13 – Ciaran Hearn – (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL

14 – Jeff Hassler – (Ospreys) Okotoks, AB

15 – Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

16 – Ray Barkwill – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON

17 – Djustice Sears-Duru – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON

18 – Doug Wooldridge – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON

19 – Evan Olmstead – (Parramatta Two Blues/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB

20 – Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Regina, SK

21 – Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC

22 – Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB

23 – James Pritchard – (Bedford Blues) Parkes, NSW, Australia

Senior Men’s Coaching Staff:


Head Coach: Kieran Crowley

Forwards Coach: Neil Barnes

Assistant Coach: Leo Crowley

Scrum Coach: Mike Shelley

Manager: Gareth Rees

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 20-21 Samoa (BMO Field, Toronto)

August 3 – Canada vs. USA (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)

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