Canada Name 30-Man Long List for Uruguay Match
Kingsley Jones and crew were at Westshore yesterday watching the Caps v Westshore match in a light drizzle. They're back on the mainland today and apparently having a run out with the 30-man squad at Brockton Oval at 3:30pm. On Saturday they'll be under the roof at BC Place where weather will have no impact.
Uruguay on the other hand had a match with the Houston SaberCats yesterday, Uruguay winning 32-24.
What does the result mean to Canada and how is the 30-man squad looking?
The BC provincial team travelled down to Uruguay in 2014 and won 21-20 in a hard fought match. Three of the players on that team are also hoping to crack the 23-man squad for Saturday. Brock Staller, Jake Ilnicki, Admir Cejvanovic were all on that BC team. Also on that team was one of the Ravens coaches Callum Morrison who saw his team defeat the SaberCats a week ago. Add up those numbers, BC beat Uruguay, Ravens beat SaberCats, SaberCats only lost to Uruguay by 8 and you have to think that Canada should be able to win by 20+ on Saturday when inclement weather is taken out of the equation. That would be the number I have in mind considering the return match will be in a more hostile environment.
How are Canada looking? The one concern that jumps out is flyhalf, with Shane O'Leary again out of the equation due to injury, it comes down to Pat Parfrey as the apparent first choice at #10. Other options are Connor Braid and Guiseppe du Toit. None have been playing #10 with any consistency at the club level. Braid has been playing 7s, Parfrey hasn't been playing club rugby and du Toit has been playing centre. If Canada can get the backline moving with any efficiency they have a lot of talent out wide and are capable of keeping the BC Place jumbotron's score clock ticking over at a regular rate.
The forwards of course have to win the ball and control possession in order for the backs to be in the match. How do Canada look there? The front row should be able to match Uruguay and perhaps even put a bit of pressure on them in the scrum. The second row with Olmstead, Larsen and Beukeboom should be up to the task. The question is around the loose forwards. Kyle Baillie is out but that's not a major concern, seeing him outpaced by the Fijian prop during the November tour might be still lingering in the minds of selectors. Does Canada have the combination of pace and physicality it needs in the backrow. Tyler Ardron at #8 is a given. Who will be openside? Matt Heaton held that position for several games in the November tour. Cejvanovic, Rumball and a new addition, Luke Campbell might be options. Dobravsky was dropped from the 30-man list but as an accomplished 7s player he had good pace, he probably was the most rugby savvy of the group but perhaps lacked in physicality. It will be an interesting selection and the loose forwards will be key to a Canada win.
Last we heard 11,000 tickets were sold, they're hoping for 15,000 by kickoff. Details on TV coverage and live streaming still haven't been released. from Rugby Canada
LANGFORD, BC – Canada Head Coach Kingsley Jones has announced his 30-man long list departing for Vancouver on Sunday.
With exactly one week until rugby takes over BC Place for the first leg of the aggregate two-match all-important 2019 Rugby World Cup (RWC) qualifying series against Uruguay, Canada’s preparation now shifts to touching down in Vancouver after two weeks of hard training in Langford and London.
“We just wrapped up a successful training camp in London which included training sessions with the Harlequins and Oxford University with our top domestic-based players, along with our professional players,” said Jones from Langford.
Canada’s training roster is highlighted by many professionals, including DTH van der Merwe, Jeff Hassler, Taylor Paris, Jake Ilnicki & Matt Heaton, along with veterans Phil Mack, Hubert Buydens, Nick Blevins and Ray Barkwill. Shane O’Leary and Kyle Baillie, however, may join the team after the Vancouver leg of the series as they progress through their return to play protocol from injury.
Having joined the Canadian outfit in late October following his appointment, Jones’ first event at the helm was in front of 30,000 fans against the Maori All Blacks in a historic match at BC Place.
“The entire team and staff are incredibly excited to kick off the series next Saturday at BC Place in front of our home fans in Vancouver,” said Jones.
World Rugby 21st ranked Canada and 18th seeded Uruguay have faced off on 10 occasions dating back to 1995, with the South Americans winning on two occasions, including last year’s 17-13 victory in Montevideo as part of the Americas Rugby Championship. This weekend Uruguay is in Houston, TX taking on the newly formed Houston Sabercats of the Major League Rugby to prepare for facing Canada next weekend.
"Uruguay is a strong team and well drilled unit, they play as one unified team. They have won a lot of games recently and we know they’re going to be ready for the challenge of this two-game series. We know we have to match them physically and more importantly play as a team,” Jones added.
“We have some quality on the field but they will only be able to show their class if we play as a team. It’s a unique and exciting challenge, we have to deliver full-80 minute performances over two legs in order to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, but we’re confident we can get the job done.”
Following Saturday’s RWC qualifier in Vancouver, which also doubles as the first test match of the Americas Rugby Championship, Canada will depart for Montevideo for the series finale on February 3rd. After that Canada will depart for Sacramento, USA to face the Eagles before returning to the Home of Canadian Rugby on February 17th against Brazil. The final two games of ARC sees Jones’ side return to South America to face Argentina XV in Jujuy on the 24th and Chile in Santiago on March 3rd.
“This qualifying series kicks off the Americas Rugby Championship, which is a hugely important tournament for our program to give our domestic-based players opportunity to gain international test match experience against quality opposition as we build towards 2019,” added Jones.
Tickets for Canada versus Uruguay on January 27 at BC Place, along with Canada versus Brazil on February 17 at Westhills Stadium, can be purchased by clicking here
Canada’s Men’s Roster for the first leg of the 2019 Rugby World Cup Qualifier:
Tyler Ardron – (Chiefs/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
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
Guiseppe du Toit – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Maple Ridge, BC
Andrew Ferguson – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
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
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 (8pm ET)
BC Place, Vancouver, BC
Rugby World Cup Qualifier round 1, ARC match 1
Canada vs. Uruguay
February 3rd at 5pm local time (3pm ET/12pm PT)
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