Anscombe Names 32 for Summer Tests: Georgia First Opponent
posted June 3 2017
[ed. comments below. There was some confusion around the original Rugby Canada press release when they put a note under Taylor Paris' name that appeared to be a subheading. Likely only Taylor Paris is unavailable for the first two games. They also added Benoit Piffero so there are 33 players now including Paris, not 32 as their press release states.]
The selections have a few surprises and for some the criteria seems to be based on reputation more so than current playing form.
Hubert Buydens makes the cut even though not playing competitive rugby since his injury with San Diego in the now defunct PRO Rugby league. Shane O'Leary gets in having played professional rugby with Connacht this past year. He'll be a new cap when he gets on the field, formerly earning a U20 cap with Canada. Sean Duke, an iconic 7s player, did enough with his games at UBC and the recent selection matches to warrant a shot.
Andrew Coe will be the only new domestic cap on the team, performing well for UBC in 7s and XVs.
All of the players, except two, who started in the loss to Brazil are in the mix. Only Matt Beukeboom and Rory McDonell are missing.
Taylor Paris is only available for the USA matches.
The two U20 standouts Cole Keith and George Barton aren't on the list.
Jamie Cudmore is really retired and isn't in the 32, it's surprising he wasn't used in a coaching capacity however.
Anscombe will no doubt be hoping for great things from the pros returning: Olmstead, Ardron, Paris, Braid, Hearn, Trainor, DTH. There's no sign of London Irish second row Jebb Sinclair, he was hitting top form in the Irish promotion run back to Premiership.
Next Saturday is the first test against Georgia. from Rugby Canada
CALGARY, AB — Canada’s senior men’s head coach Mark Anscombe has named his squad for this month’s crucial test matches including their 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifying series with the USA.
The 32-man squad – which will be trimmed down to 26 for the final two matches – features a wealth of test experience as Canada seeks to collect wins over Georgia and Romania before battling the USA in their Rugby World Cup qualifiers.
“This Summer we’ve got different types of games: the first two in Alberta against Georgia and Romania, two big, physical teams, where we’re going to have to take care of our ball and play to our strengths," said Anscombe from Calgary.
"And then the two games against the USA are obviously hugely important as we look to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. We want to be on the front foot when we go down to San Diego and we know the public support across Canada, and especially in Alberta and Hamilton, will be a massive boost for us," added Anscombe.
The team features a number of Canada’s overseas professionals including DTH van der Merwe, Conor Trainor, Aaron Carpenter, Ciaran Hearn, Taylor Paris and Evan Olmstead.
Tyler Ardron, who recently signed with Super Rugby’s Chiefs, is selected and is poised to make his return to test rugby after a long absence dating back to the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Hubert Buydens, who hasn’t suited up for Canada in more than a year also returns to the fold, as does Sean Duke, who last played test rugby for Canada in 2014. Duke is Canada’s all-time leading try scorer on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Taylor Paris, who recently moved to Castres in the Top 14 in France, will join the team after the Alberta leg of the four-match series. There is also a spot for Shane O’Leary who played for PRO 12 side Connacht from 2014 until the conclusion of this past season. O’Leary represented Canada at the U20 level and helped Connacht win the 2015-16 league title.
O’Leary and Toronto’s Andrew Coe are the only uncapped players named in Anscombe’s squad.
"We’re starting to get depth in a number of positions so there’s some competitions for starting spots and guys can’t rely on what they’ve done in the past, rather they’re being measured and selected on what they’re doing right now," said Anscombe.
Canada will face Georgia on June 10 at Calgary Rugby Park before battling Romania on June 17 in Edmonton at Ellerslie Rugby Park.
Canada will then return to Ontario as they tackle the USA on June 24 at Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field in the first leg of their Rugby World Cup qualifier before heading to San Diego for the second leg on July 1.
The two teams will be playing for the right to be Americas 1 in the 2019 Rugby World Cup where they have been drawn into a pool with England, France, Argentina and Oceanic 2.
Tickets for Canada’s three homes test matches are still available and can be purchased by clicking here. Broadcast details will announced in the coming days.
Canada’s June Series Squad (Name, club, hometown):
Tyler Ardron – (Chiefs/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
Kyle Baillie – (Westshore RFC/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI
Ray Barkwill – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
Brett Beukeboom – (Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Gradyn Bowd – (UVIC Vikes/Prairie Wolf Pack) Red Deer, AB
Connor Braid – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Rob Brouwer – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
Hubert Buydens – (Saskatoon Wild Oats/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Aaron Carpenter – (Doncaster Knights/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON
Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
Liam Chisholm – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Kenora, ON
Andrew Coe – (UBC Thunderbirds/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Guiseppe Du Toit – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Maple Ridge, BC
Sean Duke – (UBC Thunderbirds/BC Rugby) Vancouver, BC
Andrew Ferguson – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
Ciaran Hearn – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL
Matt Heaton – (Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock) Godmanchester, QC
Eric Howard – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Ottawa, ON
Jake Ilnicki – (Northampton/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC
Conor Keys – (UVIC Vikes/Atlantic Rock) Stittsville, ON
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Gordon McRorie – (UBC Old Boys Ravens/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
Shane O’Leary – (Unattached) Cork, Ireland
Evan Olmstead – (Newcastle Falcons/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC
Taylor Paris – (Castres/Ontario Blues) Barrie, ON (will join the team in Hamilton)
Benoit Piffero – (Blagnac Sporting Club/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Scarborough, ON
Djustice Sears-Duru – (Glasgow Warriors/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Matt Tierney – (Section Paloise/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Conor Trainor – (RC Vannes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
DTH van Der Merwe – (Newcastle Falcons) Victoria, BC
Canada’s June Series Schedule:
Canada vs. Georgia — June 10 — Calgary Rugby Park — 5pm ET/2pm PT
Canada vs. Romania — June 17 — Ellerslie Rugby Park — 5pm ET/2pm PT
Canada vs. USA — June 24 — Tim Horton’s Field — 3pm ET/12pm PT
Canada vs. USA — July 1 — San Diego — 6pm ET/3pm PT
Dates and Venues Confirmed for Georgia and Romania Test Matches Plus Canada U20 vs USA U20
posted Feb 8 2017
[ed. comments below]
We reported three weeks ago that two summer tests were in Alberta along with the Canada U20 games but the exact venues were unknown. RC released the details today, the Georgia match will take place on June 10th in Calgary and the June 17th match in Edmonton. Neither venue, Calgary Rugby Park or Ellerslie Rugby Park, are large seating capacity venues on the scale of BC Place but BC Place only attracted a little over 10,000 fans last year for the Japan match. Selling out a smaller venue seems the way to go this year.
The Canada U20 v USA U20 matches will take place on the 13th at St. Albert and as the curtain raiser on the 17th at Ellerslie.
The venues for the Canada v USA RWC qualifiers are still to be announced but Toronto is looking a likely prospect for the Canadian leg. from Rugby Canada
Canada’s senior men’s team will return to Alberta in June for international test matches against Georgia and Romania.
Dubbed the RISEAsOne Alberta Summer Series, Mark Anscombe’s team will face Georgia on June 10 at the Calgary Rugby Park before squaring off against Romania on June 17 at the Ellerslie Rugby Park in Edmonton. Tickets for Canada vs. Romania in Edmonton are available immediately by clicking here while tickets for Canada vs. Georgia in Calgary will go on sale Feb. 15.
“We’re excited to be returning to Alberta for two pivotal test matches in June,” said Rugby Canada CEO Allen Vansen. “Calgary were a stellar host last year and we’re looking forward to returning to Edmonton for the first time in more than four years. The passion of Albertan rugby fans is incredible and we’re excited to bring test rugby back to the province once again.”
The two matches come at a crucial time as Canada will begins its Road to The Rugby World Cup shortly after facing Georgia and Romania as they battle the USA in their 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifier with the aggregate winner across the two games securing a spot at the prestigious tournament in Japan. Since the inaugural tournament in 1987, Canada has competed in every edition of the Rugby World Cup.
“These two tests will be incredibly important as we prepare for our Rugby World Cup qualifier with the USA,” Anscombe said. “We’ll be facing two physically imposing teams that will provide us with some quality opposition. Both games will be great challenges for us before the two-game qualifying series.”
It marks the second straight year men’s test rugby heads to Calgary. Last year, Canada beat Russia 46-21 at the Calgary Rugby Park. Canada’s senior men’s team hasn’t played in Edmonton since May 2013 when Canada beat the USA 16-9 in the Pacific Nations Cup.
Canada is 3-2 all-time against Georgia. Their last meeting came in 2015 ahead of the Rugby World Cup with Canada securing a 16-15 victory. Canada last faced Georgia on home soil in 2012 in Burnaby with the hosts winning 31-12.
Romania has won the last five meetings with Canada having lost the first two encounters. Canada defeated Romania at both the 1991 and 1995 Rugby World Cup’s but hasn’t defeated Romania since. The sides last met in Bucharest in November with Romania holding on for a narrow 21-16 win.
Furthermore, Canada’s men’s U20 team will take on the USA in their two-legged World Rugby Trophy Qualifier in the lead up to the Romania match in Edmonton.
The first leg will take place on June 13 in St. Albert with the pivotal second leg acting as the curtain raiser to the test match on June 17.
The RISEAsOne Alberta Summer Series precedes the annual Americas Rugby Championship, held in February and March, where Canada faces Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and the USA in test matches while also squaring off against Argentina in a non test match.
Further information on Canada’s 2019 Rugby World Cup qualification series with the USA will be released in the coming months.
Tickets for Canada’s Americas Rugby Championship campaign, including remaining home fixtures against Chile and the USA, can be purchased by clicking here.
Canada’s 2017 Senior Men’s Schedule:
Canada 6-20 Argentina — Feb. 4, Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC
Canada vs. Chile — Feb. 11, Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC, 8pm ET/5pm PT
Canada vs. USA — Feb. 18, Swangard Stadium, Langford, BC, 8pm ET/5pm PT
Uruguay vs. Canada — Feb. 25, Estadio Domingo Burgueno, Uruguay
Brazil vs. Canada — March 3, Pacaembu Stadium, Brazil
Canada vs. Georgia — June 10, Calgary Rugby Park, Calgary, AB
Canada vs. Romania — June 17, Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton, AB
Canada vs. USA — TBD
Canada vs. USA — TBD
Canada’s Men’s U20 Schedule:
Canada U20 vs. USA U20 — June 13, St. Albert Rugby Football Club, St. Albert, AB
Canada U20 vs. USA U20 — June 17, Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton, AB