Canada’s senior men’s head coach Mark Anscombe has named his starting XV for Saturday’s winner-takes-all 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifier.
After drawing 28-28 last Saturday at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Anscombe has made just one change as Gordon McRorie replaces Phil Mack at scrum-half. Mack is unavailable due to family commitments.
“Everyone knows their role and that they need to do it with conviction and confidence,” Anscombe said. “If we do that we can put on a good showing Saturday.”
Djustice Sears-Duru, Ray Barkwill and Jake Ilnicki form Canada’s front row with co-captain Brett Beukeboom alongside Evan Olmstead at lock.
Matt Heaton and Admir Cejvanovic start at flanker with Tyler Ardron at No. 8. Shane O’Leary, who kicked 13 points last weekend, starts at fly-half. Taylor Paris and Andrew Coe start on the wings with Connor Braid and co-captain DTH van der Merwe in the centres. Newfoundland’s Ciaran Hearn starts at fullback.
“We’re creating lots of opportunities but we’re just not finishing them,” Anscombe said. “This week if we can be clearer about them finishing them and our decision making is smarter then we’re going to run in some tries.
“If we front up and play smart we can neglect their home advantage and get the result we want.”
Canada got two tries from van der Merwe while Aaron Carpenter also scored as the two teams played to a thrilling tie Saturday. Mike Te’o and Nick Civetta each had two tries for the USA.
The winner of Saturday’s game qualifies for the 2019 Rugby World Cup as Americas 1 where they will join Pool C with England, Argentina, France and Oceanic 2. The loser will still have two more opportunities to qualify for the tournament.
Canada is 38-17-2 all-time against USA but the Eagles have won five of the last six matchups. Canada has not beaten the Americans since August 2013 when it won both legs of their Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifier.
Canada has not lost a Rugby World Cup qualification match since July 2009 when they lost 12-6 to USA before rebounding to win 41-18 to make the 2011 tournament. Canada is 15-4-1 all-time in Rugby World Cup qualification matches.
Since the tournament’s inception in 1987, Canada has never missed a Rugby World Cup. Canada achieved its best result in 1991 when they reached the quarterfinals before being eliminated by New Zealand. USA, who has played in seven of the previous eight tournaments, has never advanced out of the pool stages.
Saturday’s game, which takes place at Torero Stadium, kicks off at 6pm ET/3pm PT and is LIVE on TSN 3.
Canada Team to Face USA (Name, club, hometown):
- Djustice Sears-Duru – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
- Ray Barkwill – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
- Jake Ilnicki – (Northampton/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
- Brett Beukeboom, co-captain – (Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
- Evan Olmstead – (Newcastle Falcons/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC
- Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
- Matt Heaton – (Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock) Godmanchester, QC
- Tyler Ardron – (Chiefs/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
- Gordon McRorie – (UBC Old Boys Ravens/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
- Shane O’Leary – (Unattached) Cork, Ireland
- Taylor Paris – (Castres/Ontario Blues) Barrie, ON
- Connor Braid – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
- DTH van Der Merwe, co-captain – (Newcastle Falcons) Victoria, BC
- Andrew Coe – (UBC Thunderbirds/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
15 Ciaran Hearn – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
- Benoit Piffero – (Blagnac Sporting Club/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
- Anthony Luca – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
- Matt Tierney – (Section Paloise/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
- Kyle Baillie – (London Scottish/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI
- Aaron Carpenter – (Doncaster Knights/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON
- Andrew Ferguson – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
- Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
- Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Canada Coaching Staff:
Mark Anscombe – Head Coach
Graeme Moffat – Assistant Coach
Mike Shelley – Assistant Coach
Kelly Brown – Assistant Coach
Mark Winokur – Manager
Alana Gattinger – Manager
Mallory White – Athletic Therapist
Alistair Wilson – Athletic Therapist
Dr. Peet Du Toit – Team Doctor
Aaron Takel – Performance Analyst
Calum Ramsay – Performance Analyst
Michael Deasy – Strength & Conditioning Coach
Canada’s June Series Schedule:
Canada 0-13 Georgia —Calgary Rugby Park
Canada 9-22 Romania — Ellerslie Rugby Park
Canada 28-28 USA — June 24 — Tim Horton’s Field
Canada vs. USA — July 1 — San Diego — 6pm ET/3pm PT