Americas Pacific Challenge 2016

September 28 2016

Phil Mackenzie - Canada

Anscombe Announces Canada 'A' Squad for Americas Pacific Challenge in Uruguay

posted Sept 28 2016
[ed. comments below]

You can see a few changes in the way Anscombe operates compared to his predecessor Crowley. First this statement, "We’ve identified them through club rugby and the CRC", club was a four-letter word when Crowley was in charge, this is new thinking. It's a welcome change from the club perspective.

Looking at his front row selection I'd say he's super-sized his order seasoned with a little attitude, which is good. Brouwer impressed in the ARC and at the time we referred to him as an "old school forward". I'm not sure about the mobility of this group in the loose but they'll get the grunt work done and they're up against a couple of teams renowned for big forwards, Argentina and Samoa. Ackerman has been playing well for Burnaby as has Kotlewski for Westshore. Barkwill hasn't played for a while coming off of injury so he should be chomping at the bit for some field time.

Front Row

Ryan Ackerman
Ray Barkwill
Rob Brouwer
Peter Houlihan
Ryan Kotlewski
Martial Lagain

There are a couple of the loose forwards that can slot into the second row. Keys and Albornoz were starters against Ulster, it was Keys and Baillie in the blowout loss against Glasgow and Wadden and Baillie against Doncaster. All four players are on this trip.

Second Row

Lucas Albornoz
Conor Keys
Adrian Wadden
Kyle Baillie

Three of the four loose forwards were on the Europe trip, Lucas Rumball the only exception.

Loose Forwards

Admir Cejvanovic
Nanyak Dala
Matt Heaton
Lucas Rumball

Guiseppe du Toit has been playing more centre than flyhalf lately but he is an option at #10. Parfrey is the incumbent with Povey the newcomer. Likewise with McRorie and Ferguson at scrum half. All were on the Europe trip except Ferguson.


Guiseppe du Toit
Andrew Ferguson
Gordon McRorie
Pat Parfrey
Robbie Povey

A few new faces here, Rory McDonnell the most noticeable, from Brantford. There was a Rory McDonnell who played a few games at #10 for Burnaby in 2012, my Burnaby sources can clarify if it's the same player. He plays fullback I believe for Brantford. Phil Mackenzie, of course, who wasn't on the Europe trip and neither was Ben Lesage.


Doug Fraser
Ben Lesage
Kainoa Lloyd
Phil Mackenzie
Rory McDonnell
Dan Moor
Anton Ngongo

As the RC media release mentions 16 of the 26 were on the Europe trip.

Also interesting to look at the assistant coaches for the team, Paul Feeney was brought in this summer from Auckland to work as the backs coach in the summer tests. He's back and is obviously Ancombe's go to guy from back home. Dave Butcher is Ontario's High Performance person recently over from Scotland. He was hired by Ontario in 2015. He helped a bit with the Canada U20 side in 2016 but this is his first trip with the senior team I believe.

It's another shutout for Canadian developed coaches unfortunately, so nothing has changed in that regard.

Rugby Canada media release

LANGFORD — Canada’s senior men’s head coach Mark Anscombe has named a 26-man Canada ‘A’ squad for next month’s Americas Pacific Challenge (APC) in Uruguay.

The squad features a wealth of test experience with 12 players having suited up for Canada at the test level while the other 14 players named have previous international experience. 16 of the players selected travelled to the UK last month with a Canada ‘A’ side that tackled Doncaster, Ulster and the Glasgow Warriors.

“Similar to the UK squad, it’s an opportunity for the local guys to press a claim for the November test window,” Anscombe said. “It also gives the guys some good hard, preparation for the November matches. This tournament has two sides to it: it’s an opportunity but it’s also preparation.”

Kyle Baillie, Ray Barkwill, Rob Brouwer, Nanyak Dala, Andrew Ferguson, Matt Heaton, Ryan Kotlewski, Phil Mackenzie, Gordon McRorie, Dan Moor, Pat Parfrey and Lucas Rumball have a combined 165 test caps as they provide an experienced platform for the squad.

The rest of the squad is made up of Ryan Ackerman, Lucas Albornoz, Admir Cejvanovic, Guiseppe du Toit, Doug Fraser, Peter Houlihan, Conor Keys, Martial Lagain, Ben LeSage, Kainoa Lloyd, Rory McDonnell, Anton Ngongo, Robbie Povey and Adrian Wadden.

“It’s crucial for development,” Anscombe said. “It gives these guys an opportunity to see if they can step up to a higher level of rugby. We’ve identified them through club rugby and the CRC and now we have a chance to see whether they can step up another stage and if so that will provide an opportunity for the November internationals.”

The APC will provide Canada ‘A’ with three matches as they will tackle Argentina XV, USA Selects and Samoa A over an eight-day period. Fiji Warriors and Uruguay A are also involved in the six team tournament. The competition will provide Canada ‘A’ another chance to develop and continue to build on the foundation that has been installed since Anscombe’s arrival earlier this year.

The APC will be the last opportunity for players to stake a claim for selection for the November test window when Canada will face Ireland, Romania and Samoa.

Streaming details for the tournament are still to be confirmed.

Canada ‘A’ Roster for Americas Pacific Challenge – Name, (Club/CRC) Hometown

Ryan Ackerman – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Regina, SK
Lucas Albornoz – (Burnaby Lake RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC
Kyle Baillie – (Westshore RFC/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI
Ray Barkwill – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
Rob Brouwer – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Guiseppe du Toit – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Maple Ridge, BC
Andrew Ferguson – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
Doug Fraser – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Ladysmith, BC
Matt Heaton – (Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock)Godmanchester, QC
Peter Houlihan – (Strathcona Druids/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Conor Keys – (UVIC Vikes/Atlantic Rock) Stittsville, ON
Ryan Kotlewski – (Westshore RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, ON
Martial Lagain – (Club Rugby de Québec/Atlantic Rock) Sherbrooke, QC
Ben Lesage – (UBC Thunderbirds/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Kainoa Lloyd – (Queen’s University/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
Phil Mackenzie – (Unattached/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Rory McDonell – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON
Gordon McRorie – (UBC Old Boys Ravens/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Dan Moor – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Anton Ngongo – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Patrick Parfrey – (James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
Robbie Povey – (Bedford Athletic/Prairie Wolf Pack) Northampton, UK
Lucas Rumball – (Queen’s University/Ontario Blues) Scarborough, ON
Adrian Wadden – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON

Men’s Coaching Staff:

Mark Anscombe – Head Coach
Paul Feeney – Assistant Coach
Dave Butcher – Scrum Coach
Aaron Takel – Performance Analyst
Michael Deasy – Strength and Conditioning
Mallory White – Physiotherapist
Alistair Wilson – Physiotherapist
Anthony Dixon - Doctor
Alana Gattinger – Operations and Logistics

Canada’s Americas Pacific Challenge Schedule:

Canada ‘A’ vs. Argentina XV — Oct. 8, 1:30pm ET/10:30am PT
Canada ‘A’ vs. USA Selects — Oct. 12, 3:30pm ET/12:30pm PT
Canada ‘A’ vs. Samoa ‘A’ —Oct. 16, 1:30pm ET/10:30am PT

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