Canada Announce 35 Players for UK Camp - Westhills Stadium Confirmed Venue for Brazil Match
A couple of announcements from Rugby Canada, one that the Brazil match will be hosted at Westhills Stadium on Feb 17th. By that time Canada will know whether they've qualified for the World Cup in 2019. The pros will likely have returned to their clubs and it will be the domestic players holding the fort. The 35 player squad taken to the UK for the training camp no doubt contain both the players that will take on Uruguay, the A team, and those that will finish off the ARC tournament, the B team, or in effect the Maple Leafs.
There are still some questions as to who will start against Uruguay at BC Place. The fly half position seems to be between Pat Parfrey and Shane O'Leary, Parfrey has been holding the position after O'Leary was injured prior to the November tour. Contenders Rob Povey and Gradyn Bowd didn't make the 35 man list. Scrum half is a little easier with Phil Mack the top contender, Gordon McRorie is back in the fold after being absent for November, Andrew Ferguson is the third option.
The outside backs of DTH, Paris and Hassler are where Canada shines and the ball needs to find its way into their hands. Likely DTH will be moved to outside centre to allow all three to suit up. Blevins and Braid are good options for centres. Ciaran Hearn, Conor Trainor, Andrew Coe and Matt Evans are unavailable due to injury, three of those players are top choices for fullback so that leaves Canada a bit thin at that key position. Perhaps Braid with his booming boot and counter attacking nous will get the nod, Parfrey can also fill the spot if O'Leary goes #10.
In the forwards Canada will need to match the physicality of Uruguay. Olmstead, Beukeboom and Larsen the choices for second row, Conor Keys not showing up on the list despite being the best second row in October's APC tournament. Loose forwards led by Tyler Ardron, with Heaton and Baillie as likely candidates, Rumball, Cejvanovic and Dobravsky also in the mix. Lots of front row choices with Keith, Djustice, Buydens, Luca, Ilnicki, Tierney battling for four spots. Hookers are Barkwill, Lagain and Piffero.
The Uruguay match is January 27th at BC Place, the team assembles in Vancouver January 21st after returning from the UK. from Rugby Canada
LANGFORD, B.C. (January 11, 2018) – International men’s rugby returns to the Home of Canadian Rugby at Westhills Stadium on February 17, 2018 when Canada’s Men’s Team faces Brazil as part of the 2018 Americas Rugby Championship (ARC).
The 2018 ARC will once again see Canada, USA, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil and Argentina “A” face off in a round-robin style format across multiple locations in North and South America starting on January 27th and will crown the tournament champion on March 3rd.
Amongst the ARC competition, Canada will face Uruguay in an additional test match on February 3rd in Montevideo to decide who will represent Americas 2 in Pool D at next year’s 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. This two-game series has been dubbed “the most important of a generation”.
After a recent five-day training camp in Langford, Canada departs for London tomorrow for a Regulation 9 Training Camp with 35 of Canada’s top players. Along with weights, video analysis, two-a-day on-field team practices and one-on-one skill development sessions, the camp includes a joint training schedule with the Harlequins, along with a controlled game against Oxford.
“I am really pleased with the past week’s training here in Langford. It was great to see a mix of experienced players like Tyler Ardron, Phil Mack and Ray Barkwill and less experienced internationals getting some rugby in a controlled training session ahead of the upcoming tests against Uruguay,” said Jones.
“It was also a good opportunity for the coaches to get to see a wider younger group of Talent ID at camp and mixing it with current internationals. It’s been a very productive week and gives us some much needed close-to-game practice following the holiday break. It’s been a good start to the new year for all the players and staff.”
Canada’s roster includes nearly all of its top overseas professionals: DTH van der Merwe, Taylor Paris, Jeff Hassler, Tyler Ardron, Matt Heaton, Shane O’Leary, Djustice Sears-Duru, Matt Tierney, Benoit Piffero, Evan Olmstead, Kyle Baillie and Brett Beukeboom. Ciaran Hearn and Andrew Coe, who were both injured in Canada’s final November test match against Fiji, along with Conor Trainor and Matt Evans are unavailable for selection due to injury.
Canada’s roster has also been boosted by the return of dual-code internationals Connor Braid and Admir Cejvanovic, who recently helped Canada finish 2017 with an exciting 4th place finish in Cape Town on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
“The squad has a good balance of experience and youth. Some players are being rewarded for a very good week’s training in addition to impressing at club level over the last few months. I’m really pleased to welcome back into the 15s program Admir Cejvanovic and Connor Braid after doing so well with the Sevens,” added Jones.
Canada and Brazil have met twice in international men’s rugby, with Canada winning 52-25 at the same venue in Langford, BC in 2016. However, the following contest in 2017 would favour the South Americans, as Brazil stole a famous victory last March 24-23 in part to a last-minute try from Lucas Tranquez.
“We are excited to return home to Westhills Stadium to face Brazil on February 17th. We train here day-in, day-out and know that the local crowd will get behind us as they have done over the past few years,” added Jones.
“Brazil has knocked off both USA & Canada over the last two years and have come a long way in their development, so the game in Langford will be important for us for not only ARC points, but also redemption from last year’s loss,” said Jones.
Canada will gather in Vancouver on January 21st to prepare for facing Uruguay on the following Saturday.
Tickets for the home games on January 27 at BC Place in Vancouver and February 17 – which start at just $10 and will be available to the public on Monday, January 10th at 10am PT – at Westhills Stadium in Langford can be purchased by clicking here
Canada’s Men’s Team Training Camp Roster:
Tyler Ardron – (Chiefs/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
Kyle Baillie – (London Scottish/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI
Ray Barkwill – (Seattle Seawolves/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
Brett Beukeboom – (Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Connor Braid – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Hubert Buydens – (New Orleans Gold/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Luke Campbell – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
Dustin Dobravsky – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Hanover, Germany
Guiseppe du Toit – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Maple Ridge, BC
Andrew Ferguson – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
Doug Fraser – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Ladysmith, BC
Jeff Hassler – (Ospreys/Prairie Wolf Pack) Okotoks, AB
Matt Heaton – (Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock) Godmanchester, QC
Jake Ilnicki – (Newcastle Falcons/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
Cole Keith – (James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock) Sussex, NB
Martial Lagain – (Sherbrooke Abenakis/Atlantic Rock) Saint-Jean-de-Marsacq, France
Josh Larsen – (Northland) Parksville, BC
Ben LeSage – (UBC Thunderbirds/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Kainoa Lloyd – (Mississauga Blues/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
Anthony Luca – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Shane O’Leary – (Ealing Trailfinders) Cork, Ireland
Evan Olmstead – (Newcastle Falcons/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC
Patrick Parfrey – (Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
Taylor Paris – (Castres/Ontario Blues) Barrie, ON
Benoit Piffero – (Blagnac Sporting Club/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
Djustice Sears-Duru – (Ealing Trailfinders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Brock Staller – (Meralomas RFC/BC Bears) Surrey, BC
Matt Tierney – (Section Paloise/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
DTH van der Merwe – (Newcastle Falcons) Victoria, BC
Canada’s 2018 Americas Rugby Championship & RWC Qualifier schedule:
Canada vs. Uruguay
January 27th at 5pm local time
BC Place, Vancouver, BC
Rugby World Cup Qualifier round 1, ARC match 1
Canada vs. Uruguay
Rugby World Cup Qualifier round 2, not an ARC match
Canada vs. USA
February 10th at 3pm local time
Canada vs. Brazil
February 17th at 6:30pm local time
Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC
Canada vs. Argentina XV
February 24th at 8pm local time
Canada vs. Chile
March 3rd at 1pm local time
La Pintana, Santiago, Chile