Squamish native and four-time Rugby World Cup veteran Jamie Cudmore to Captain 18th ranked Canada against 10th seeded Japan in first-ever Men’s Fifteens International at world-class BC Place Stadium
Captained by Jamie Cudmore, the team features eight returnees from Canada’s 2015 Rugby World Cup (RWC) squad. The other seven starters competed for Canada at the 2016 Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) earlier this year.
“You can expect to see guys who are committed and proud to put on the jersey,” Anscombe said. “They’ll empty their tanks on Saturday and give it everything they’ve got.”
Djustice Sears-Duru, Ray Barkwill and Jake Ilnicki will lineup in the front row with Cudmore pairing with Evan Olmstead at lock. Summerside, PEI, native Kyle Baillie will start at blindside flanker with Scarborough, Ont.’s Lucas Rumball getting the nod at openside. 71 test cap veteran Aaron Carpenter starts at No.8.
Gordon McRorie will start at scrum-half with St. John’s Pat Parfrey starting at fly-half after a great ARC campaign.
A returning Taylor Paris will join Canada’s ARC try-scoring leader Dan Moor on the wing with Nick Blevins and Brock Staller forming the centre partnership. Matt Evans starts at fullback.
“I’m very proud to be here and to represent Canada,” Cudmore said. “It’s great to play in a venue like this at BC Place and we’re looking forward to Saturday.”
There’s also the potential for Matt Tierney and Matt Heaton to win their first test caps for Canada as they have been named to the bench.
“It’s a great opportunity for a lot of them and it’s their first chance to establish their claim to the future and they’re all excited about that and are ready to seize the chance,” Anscombe said.
The game against 10th ranked Japan will add another chapter to Canadian rugby history by being the first ever test match held at BC Place. Earlier this year, the world-class stadium held the inaugural HSBC Canada Men’s Sevens, where more than 60,000 fans packed in over two days to set a new Canadian rugby attendance record.
Canada is 8-14-2 all-time against Japan with the two draws taking place at the 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cups. The two sides met last year as part of the Pacific Nations Cup with Japan winning 20-6. Canada has not beaten Japan since 2005 when they won 15-10 in Tokyo as part of the Super Cup.
The home side comes into the game after a successful 3-2 ARC campaign that included test wins over Uruguay, Brazil and Chile. Furthermore, it showcased a new wave of Canadian talent that saw nearly 20 players earn their first test caps for Canada with 10 of them being named to Anscombe’s 28-man RISEAsOne Summer Series squad.
Japan, who will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, enters the tournament having claimed the 2016 Asia Rugby Championship after winning all four contests. However, they sent shockwaves through the sports world last year when they defeated powerhouse South Africa 34-32 in the 2015 Rugby World Cup pool stages. Despite collecting three wins, Japan missed out on qualifying for the tournament quarterfinals.
As part of their RISEAsOne Summer Series, Canada will also face Russia in Calgary and Italy in Toronto later this month. Tickets for those two games, as well as Saturday’s clash against Japan, are still available by clicking here. All three games will also be streamed LIVE on Rugby Canada’s official provider, TSN.
Canada’s Roster vs. Japan (Name, club, hometown):
1. Djustice Sears -Duru – (Glasgow Warriors/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
2. Ray Barkwill – (Sacramento/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
3. Jake Ilnicki – (San Diego/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
4. Jamie Cudmore, captain – (Oyonnax) Squamish, BC
5. Evan Olmstead – (Newcastle Falcons/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC
6. Kyle Baillie – (Ohio/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI
7. Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Scarborough, ON
8. Aaron Carpenter – (Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON
9. Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
10. Pat Parfrey – (Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
11. Taylor Paris – (Agen) Barrie, ON
12. Nick Blevins – (San Francisco/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
13. Brock Staller – (UBC Thunderbirds/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
14. Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
15. Matt Evans – (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
16. Eric Howard – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Ottawa, ON
17. Tom Dolezel – (London St. George’s/Ontario Blues) London, ON
18. Matt Tierney – (Section Paloise/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
19. Paul Ciulini – (Aurora Barbarians/Ontario Blues) Vaughan, ON
20. Matt Heaton – (Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock) Godmanchester, QC
21. Alistair Clark – (Bay Street Pigs/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
22. Jamie Mackenzie – (UBCOB Ravens/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
23. Mozac Samson – (Calgary Saints/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Unavailable for selection:
Tyler Ardron – (Ospreys) Lakefield, ON
Brett Beukeboom – (Cornish Pirates) Lindsay, ON
Gradyn Bowd – (UVIC Vikes/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Kyle Gilmour – (St. Albert RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Jeff Hassler – (Ospreys) Okotoks, AB
Phil Mackenzie – (San Diego/Ontario Blues), Oakville, ON
Jason Marshall – (Agen/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
Callum Morrison – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Benoit Piffero – (Avenir Castaneén Rugby XV/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
Jebb Sinclair – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Fredericton, NB
Andrew Tiedemann – (Bourgoin/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
DTH van der Merwe – (Scarlets) Victoria, BC
Doug Wooldridge – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
Unavailable due to Rugby Sevens Olympic Repechage:
Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Ciaran Hearn – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
Nathan Hirayama – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Liam Underwood – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Canada’s Senior Men’s Coaching Staff:
Head Coach – Mark Anscombe
Assistant Coach – Graeme Moffat
Assistant Coach, Forwards – Michael Shelley
Technical Consultant (Auckland Blues) – Paul Feeney
Head Strength & Conditioning – Michael Deasy
Analyst – Aaron Takel
Physiotherapist – Mallory White
Athletic Therapist – Jessica Smith
Tour Manager – Jim Kazakoff
Operations & Logistics Manager – Alana Gattinger
Canada’s RISEAsOne Summer Series Schedule:
Canada vs. Japan, BC Place, 6pm ET/3pm PT
Canada vs. Russia, Calgary Rugby Park, 5pm ET/2pm PT
Canada vs. Italy, BMO Field, 12pm ET/9am PT