Americas Rugby Championship 2017

January 23 2017


George Barton - Clermont Espoirs, Canada U20
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Anscombe Names Extended Squad for ARC: Nine Potential New Caps


posted Jan 23 2017
[ed. comments below]

Probably the most noticeable aspect of this ARC roster is the return of two marquis European-based players, Conor Trainor and Taylor Paris. Usually the ARC features domestic players or European-based players who aren't getting game time with the 1st team. Also a first is the inclusion of the two players who are in the French espoirs league, George Barton and Matt Beukeboom. Both of those players will feature in the Canada U20 campaign this year.

Also a surprise is seeing another "rookie" in his 30s looking to gain their first cap. Canada have had recent success in that age pool with Mozac Samson, Joe Dolesau and Clay Panga doing well when called up. This time it's Carl Pocock. These players needed to be capped years earlier but were generally neglected under Crowley's tenure as head coach. Francois Ratier opened the door last year and Anscombe is continuing down that road.

It's interesting to look at last year's ARC roster vs USA and see who is not present for a variety of reasons. Hubert Buydens, Jake Ilnicki, Paul Ciulini, Callum Morrison, Alistair Clark, Mozac Samson, Phil Mackenzie, Michael Hamson, Andrew Ferguson, Duncan Maguire, Kyle Baillie. Almost half the squad is changed. Some may be injured, some are in Europe, some may have dropped out of contention and some may not have made the coach's cut this year. Kyle Baillie, for example, has been injured but there's rumour that Europe may be in his immediate future.

Another interesting situation to watch is at hooker, there are three in camp but Barkwill who could be considered first choice just picked up a two game suspension (hearing Jan 18th) from the last game of the BC fall season, CW vs James Bay. That may impact his selection for the Argentina match, we'll see how that plays out.

Mack is back and with McRorie they'll provide veteran leadership at scrum half. Pat Parfrey will be the go to flyhalf with Rob Povey in training, last year Gradyn Bowd was the starting #10 but has been playing fullback more now with UVic. With Matt Evans likely out for the season with injury, fullback is a key position to fill with the World Cup qualifier looming in June/July.

Surprised that more UBC players aren't in the loop, they're probably the top domestic team in season right now. They have a number of national level players from Theo Sauder and Andrew Coe in the backs to a potent forward pack including former Ireland U20 front row player Chris Taylor who must have completed his residency by now.

The front row selected are experienced however with Barkwill, Howard and Piffero at hooker. Tierney, Djustice, Brouwer, Kotlweski at props and Cole Keith from James Bay impressing in local action added to the group.

The backrow features Ollie Nott, Lucas Rumball, Admir Cejvanovic, Clay Panga. It's one area that may need some bolstering over the 5 game tournament. The second row is very young Matt Beukeboom, Liam Chisolm, Conor Keys, Reegan O’Gorman.

The centres and back three look well stocked with Trainor, Paris, Staller, Pocock, McDonell, Barton, Blevins, Bowd, Moor.

It will be a big test first up, Argentina XV, who have been dominant in the tournament, defeating Canada 54-21 last year.

from Rugby Canada

LANGFORD — Canada’s senior men’s head coach Mark Anscombe has named an extended squad featuring 29 players for the 2017 Americas Rugby Championship.

The squad features a wealth of experience with 20 players previously capped at the test level while nine other players without test experience are also included.

“Due to the nature of the long campaign we have named an extended squad in order to cover the full five week tour,” Anscombe said. ““We have an extended squad named to get us through the early stages and we’ll reassess for the last two games when we travel to South America.”

Ray Barkwill, Nick Blevins, Phil Mack, Pat Parfrey, Benoit Piffero, Taylor Paris, Djustice Sears-Duru and Conor Trainor have all been capped more than 10 times for Canada and are joined by Gradyn Bowd, Rob Brouwer, Admir Cejvanovic, Liam Chisholm, Eric Howard, Ryan Kotlewski, Lucas Rumball, Dan Moor, Clay Panga, Brock Staller and Matt Tierney. In total, Canada’s 20 players with previous test experience have earned a combined 268 caps.

This year will also see the inclusion of overseas players highlighted by Trainor and Paris’ involvement, both of whom are having stellar seasons in France’s Pro D2. Oakville’s Sears-Duru has also been released from the Glasgow Warriors while Tierney also joins the squad from Top 14 side Pau. Matt Beukeboom and George Barton join up from their academy French sides.

Along with the uncapped Beukeboom and Barton, Cole Keith, Conor Keys, Rory McDonell, Ollie Nott, Reegan O’Gorman, Carl Pocock and Robbie Povey round out the squad.

“There’s nine guys in the squad that haven’t been capped and it’s exciting to see what these guys have,” Anscombe said. “It’s a good opportunity to see what we have in certain areas and if these guys can step up.

“Some of these young guys have good futures ahead of them so the sooner we can get them up and comfortable playing this level the better off we’ll be down the road.”

Canada will play its first three games of the tournament on home soil as they will face Argentina on Feb. 4 and Chile on Feb. 11 at Westhills Stadium in Langford, BC. They will then head to the mainland to face the USA on Feb. 18 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC, before heading to South America to face Uruguay and Brazil in the final two weeks.

Last year, 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 their RISEAsOne Summer Series in June and the annual November Tour.

The Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) provides Canada with an additional four test matches a year. The game against Argentina is not a sanctioned test match. The competition provides more exposure and opportunity for Canada’s senior men’s squad as they work towards 2019 Rugby World Cup qualification.

“It’s all building to the qualifier,” Anscombe said. “We’ve got an opportunity to see what these young guys have got. By giving some guys opportunities here we’re extending the depth of our squad, seeing if guys can handle the step up and we’ve got to make sure we’re ready to go when the qualifier hits and they understand the level of rugby that’s going to be required from them to be successful.”

Tickets for Canada’s three home games can be purchased by clicking here. Broadcast details for all five of Canada’s 2017 ARC games are still being finalized.

Canada’s Men’s Extended Squad for 2017 Americas Rugby Championship (Name, Club/CRC Team, hometown):

Ray Barkwill – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
George Barton – (Clermont Espoirs) Duncan, BC
Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Matt Beukeboom – (Section Paloise) Lindsay, ON
Rob Brouwer – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
Gradyn Bowd – (UVIC Vikes/Prairie Wolf Pack) Red Deer, AB
Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
Liam Chisholm – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Kenora, ON
Eric Howard – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Ottawa, ON
Conor Keys – (UVic Vikes/Atlantic Rock) Stittsville, ON
Cole Keith – (James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock) Sussex, NB
Ryan Kotlewski – (Westshore RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Rory McDonell – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON
Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Oliver Nott – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Qualicum, BC
Reegan O’Gorman – (Marist Albion) Vancouver, BC
Clay Panga – (Westshore RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Pat Parfrey – (Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
Taylor Paris – (Agen) Barrie, ON
Benoit Piffero – (Blagnac Sporting Rugby Club/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
Carl Pocock – (Calgary Rams/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Robbie Povey – (Bedford Athletic/Prairie Wolf Pack) Northampton, England
Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Scarborough, ON
Djustice Sears-Duru – (Glasgow Warriors/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Brock Staller – (UBC Thunderbirds/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Matt Tierney – (Section Paloise/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Conor Trainor – (RC Vannes/BC Bears) Vancouver, 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 4, Pacaembu Stadium

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