LANGFORD, B.C. – Senior men’s head coach Mark Anscombe has named his starting XV for Saturday’s 2017 Americas Rugby Championship opener against Argentina.
The team will be captained by Gordon McRorie and features 12 players with previous test cap experience. However, Saturday’s game is not a sanctioned test match. Kickoff is 8pm ET/5pm PT and can be seen LIVE on TSN GO.
“We’ve got a young team and it’s about getting them up to speed with playing a team with the quality of Argentina,” Anscombe said. “The boys have worked hard and they’re looking forward to it.
“Argentina likes to play an open game but they know how to win the ball up front first. They’re physical and are big men who use their set pieces. It’s going to be a big challenge for us.”
Rob Brouwer, Eric Howard and Matt Tierney will form the front row for Canada with Conor Keys and Liam Chisholm starting at lock. Lucas Rumball starts at openside flanker with Burnaby’s Admir Cejvanovic at blindside. Calgary’s Clay Panga starts at No. 8.
McRorie starts at scrum-half while Robbie Povey gets the nod at fly-half. Taylor Paris and Dan Moor start on the wings with Nick Blevins and Brock Staller in the centres. Calgary’s Carl Pocock starts at fullback. Last year, Canada lost 54-21 to Argentina in Rosario. Moor and Andrew Ferguson (2) had tries for Canada while Ferguson slotted all three conversions.
In 2016, Canada finished third after wins over Uruguay, Brazil and Chile. In last year’s tournament, 19 players earned their first test cap for Canada. The tournament has proven to be a quality breeding ground for players with many of last year’s debutants going on to play for Canada during the RISEAsOne Summer Series in June and the annual November Tour.
“We can take heart from our third place finish last year,” Anscombe said. “We’ve got to look at ourselves and our depth and development as a team because this is all about building up to June for our World Cup qualifier so this is a good stepping stone for that.”
Replays of Saturday’s match can also be seen on TSN 1 Saturday night at 11pm ET/8pm PT as well as on Feb. 7 at 12pm ET/9am PT on TSN 2.
Canada will also host Chile on Feb. 11 at Westhills Stadium in Langford before hosting USA on Feb. 18 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby. Tickets are available by clicking here.
Canada’s Men’s Team to face Argentina – Name, (Club/CRC) Hometown
- Rob Brouwer – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
- Eric Howard – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Ottawa, ON
- Matt Tierney – (Section Paloise/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
- Conor Keys – (UVic Vikes/Atlantic Rock) Stittsville, ON
- Liam Chisholm – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Kenora, ON
- Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
- Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Scarborough, ON
- Clay Panga – (Westshore RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
- Gordon McRorie – Captain (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
- Robbie Povey – (Bedford Athletic/Prairie Wolf Pack) Northampton, England
- Taylor Paris – (Agen) Barrie, ON
- Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
- Brock Staller – (UBC Thunderbirds/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
- Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
- Carl Pocock – (Calgary Rams/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
- Benoit Piffero – (Blagnac Sporting Rugby Club/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
- Djustice Sears -Duru – (Glasgow Warriors/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
- Cole Keith – (James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock) Sussex, NB
- Reegan O’Gorman – (Marist Albion) Vancouver, BC
- Matt Beukeboom – (Section Paloise) Lindsay, ON
- Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
- Guiseppe Du Toit – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Maple Ridge, BC
- George Barton – (Clermont Espoirs) Duncan, BC
Canada’s 2017 Americas Rugby Championship Schedule:
Canada vs. Argentina — Feb. 4, Westhills Stadium, 8pm ET/5pm PT
Canada vs. Chile — Feb. 11, Westhills Stadium, 8pm ET/5pm PT
Canada vs. USA — Feb. 18, Swangard Stadium, 8pm ET/5pm PT
Uruguay vs. Canada — Feb. 25, Estadio Domingo Burgueno
Brazil vs. Canada — March 3, Pacaembu Stadium