DUBLIN, IRELAND — Canada’s senior men’s head coach Mark Anscombe has named his starting XV for Saturday’s test match against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Captained by Aaron Carpenter, the squad features a wealth of experience including the return of DTH van der Merwe, Brett Beukeboom, Conor Trainor and Connor Braid to the starting lineup. Saturday’s game can be seen LIVE on CBC Sports, as part of their ‘Road to the Olympics Series, with coverage beginning at 2pm ET/11am PT.
“The boys have adapted well to what we want to do.” Anscombe said. “We’re really looking forward to the game. We have to do well on Saturday so that we get credibility so that we can face off against other Tier 1 teams in the future.”
The familiar trio of Djustice Sears-Duru, Ray Barkwill and Jake Ilnicki form Canada’s front row with Beukeboom joining Newcastle Falcon Evan Olmstead at lock.
Kyle Baillie and Lucas Rumball start at flanker while Carpenter will earn his 75th test cap from the No. 8 position, leaving him one cap behind Al Charron’s Canadian record of 76.
Gordon McRorie starts at scrum-half while Victoria, BC, native Braid gets the nod at fly-half. Van der Merwe and Taylor Paris will man the wings with Trainor and Ciaran Hearn starting in the centres. Cornish Pirate Matt Evans starts at fullback.
Admir Cejvanovic is named to Canada’s bench and will earn his first test cap if he sees action on the pitch. Phil Mack, who retired from Canada’s men’s sevens team earlier this year and hasn’t played for the senior team since last year’s Rugby World Cup, is also named as a replacement.
“I think it will be a different team that faced the All Blacks but they’re a Tier 1 team and they have that depth now and that was shown by the quality of their performance last weekend,” Anscombe said. “A full house at the Aviva Stadium is a great opportunity for our guys but it will be daunting going up against a very good Irish team.”
Saturday’s match kicks off an important three games for Anscombe’s side as they look to climb the World Rugby test rankings from their 18th position. After Saturday’s game, Canada will also face No. 16 Romania on Nov. 19 before tackling No. 14 Samoa on Nov. 25. Ireland is ranked fifth in the world.
Canada last faced Ireland at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in each team’s tournament opener with the Irish claiming a 50-7 victory. Canada last visited Ireland in 2008 (a 55-0 defeat) and last welcomed them to Canada in 2013 when the two sides squared off at BMO Field in Toronto with the visitors claiming a 40-14 win.
The two sides played to a 27-27 draw in 2000 at Fletcher’s Fields in Markham, Ont.
Canada’s Roster to face Ireland (Name, club, hometown):
- Djustice Sears -Duru – (Glasgow Warriors/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
- Ray Barkwill – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
- Jake Ilnicki – (Manawatu Turbos/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
- Brett Beukeboom – (Cornish Pirates) Lindsay, ON
- Evan Olmstead – (Newcastle Falcons/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC
- Kyle Baillie – (Westshore RFC/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI
- Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Scarborough, ON
- Aaron Carpenter – Captain (Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON
- Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
- Connor Braid – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
- Taylor Paris – (Agen) Barrie, ON
- Ciaran Hearn – (London Irish) Conception Bay, NL
- Conor Trainor – (RC Vannes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
- DTH van Der Merwe – (Scarlets) Victoria, BC
- Matt Evans – (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
- Eric Howard – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Ottawa, ON
- Rob Brouwer – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
- Matt Tierney – (Section Paloise/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
- Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
- Matt Heaton – (Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock) Godmanchester, QC
- Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
- Patrick Parfrey – (James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
- Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Unavailable for selection:
Tyler Ardron – (Ospreys) Lakefield, ON
Hubert Buydens – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Jamie Cudmore – (Oyonnax) Squamish, BC
Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Kyle Gilmour – (St. Albert RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Jeff Hassler – (Ospreys) Okotoks, AB
Jamie Mackenzie – (UBCOB Ravens/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Phil Mackenzie – (Unattached/Ontario Blues), Oakville, ON
Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Cam Pierce – (Section Paloise/Kelowna Crows) Vernon, BC
Jebb Sinclair – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Fredericton, NB
Andrew Tiedemann – (Bourgoin/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Jordan Wilson-Ross – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Alliston, ON
Men’s Coaching Staff:
Mark Anscombe – Head Coach
Graeme Moffat – Assistant Coach
Mike Shelley – Scrum Coach
Aaron Takel – Performance Analyst
Michael Deasy – Strength and Conditioning
Mallory White – Physiotherapist
Jessica Smith – Physiotherapist
Dr. Peet Du Toit – Doctor
Mark Winokur – Tour Manager
Alana Gattinger – Operations & Logistics Manager
Canada’s November Tour Schedule:
Canada vs. Ireland — Nov. 12 — Aviva Stadium, Dublin — 2:15pm ET/11:15am PT
Canada vs. Romania — Nov. 19 — Stadionul Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest — 1pm ET/10am PT
Canada vs. Samoa — Nov. 25 —Stade des Alpes, Grenoble — 3pm ET/12pm PT