LEEDS, ENGLAND – Canada head coach Kieran Crowley has added James Pritchard to his 31-man Rugby World Cup (RWC) squad after Liam Underwood was lost for the tournament due to injury.
Underwood picked up a knee injury Saturday in Canada’s 50-7 loss to Ireland at the Millennium Stadium in the first game of Canada’s campaign.
Pritchard is Canada’s all-time leading points scorer with 607 points in 61 test matches, dating back to his debut in 2003. He became the 20th player in test history to score 600 or more points in a career in July when he kicked 10 points during Canada’s match against Samoa at the Pacific Nations Cup in Toronto.
The 36-year-old has competed for Canada in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 editions of the tournament, making this his fourth consecutive appearance. Pritchard joins an elite company in Gareth Rees, Al Charron, Rod Snow, Dave Lougheed, Jamie Cudmore and Mike James having appeared for Canada on four occasions.
“It’s unfortunate for Liam to not be able to finish this World Cup as he is a versatile player for us, having the ability to play 10 and 15 and his goal-kicking abilities,” said Crowley from Leeds.
“We’ve been in discussion with James over the last month and he obviously brings a level of experience to the team and he can play a number of positions if called upon.”
During his three previous World Cup campaigns, Pritchard scored 45 points in nine matches. Pritchard sits atop or near the top of many of Canada’s test records. His 18 tries rank second all-time while his 104 conversions are the most ever. He sits second with 103 penalties made. He also holds the record for most points in a match for Canada with 36.
“I’m incredibly excited to play in my fourth World Cup for Canada,” Pritchard said. “To represent your country on the biggest stage in the world is the goal of every rugby player. It’s unfortunate that it comes at the expense of Liam, who I wish a quick recovery.”
Canada faces Italy on Saturday in their second World Cup match and presents an exciting opportunity for Canadian Rugby to challenge a Six Nations side in front of a sold-out crowd of nearly 38,000 fans at Elland Road in Leeds.
Saturday’s clash with Italy can be seen live on TSN. Kickoff is 9:30am ET/6:30am PT.
Canada’s Rugby World Cup Pool Matches:
September 19 – Canada 7-50 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)
Canada’s Rugby World Cup 31-man Squad:
Tyler Ardron – Captain (Ospreys) Lakefield, ON
Ray Barkwill – (Unattached/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
Brett Beukeboom – (Cornish Pirates) Lindsay, ON
Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Connor Braid – (Unattached/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Hubert Buydens – (Unattached/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Aaron Carpenter – (Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON
Jamie Cudmore – (Clermont Auvergne) Squamish, BC
Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Matt Evans – (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
Kyle Gilmour – (Rotherham Titans/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Jeff Hassler – (Ospreys) Okotoks, AB
Ciaran Hearn – (Unattached/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay, NL
Nathan Hirayama – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Jake Ilnicki – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Jamie Mackenzie – (UBCOB Ravens/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Phil Mackenzie – (Sale Sharks/Ontario Blues), Oakville, ON
Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Evan Olmstead – (Parramatta Two Blues/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC
Benoit Piffero – (Unattached/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
James Pritchard – (Bedford Blues) Parkes, NSW, Australia
Djustice Sears-Duru – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Jebb Sinclair – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Fredericton, NB
Richard Thorpe – (London Welsh) Beckenham, England
Andrew Tiedemann – (Unattached/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
DTH van der Merwe – (Scarlets) Victoria, BC
Doug Wooldridge – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
Senior Men’s Coaching Staff:
Head Coach: Kieran Crowley
Forwards Coach: Neil Barnes
Assistant Coach: Leo Crowley
Scrum Coach: Mike Shelley
Skills Coach: Graeme Moffat
Manager: Gareth Rees