BARKWILL RETURNS TO CAPTAIN CANADA AGAINST USA IN BURNABY
BURNABY, B.C. – Canada’s Senior Men’s Head Coach Mark Anscombe has made five changes to his starting roster ahead of Saturday’s Americas Rugby Championship clash against the USA at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.
Rob Brouwer, Ray Barkwill, Reegan O’Gorman, Phil Mack and Robbie Povey all come into the starting XV. It will mark O’Gorman and Povey’s first test starts for Canada.
“The boys have worked hard this week so we’ll go in with some confidence to back ourselves to do what we need to do,” Anscombe said. “They have a more experience squad than we have and they’ve had a couple of good wins. They’ve played some good rugby and wins builds confidence.”
Brouwer and Barkwill, who will captain Canada, replace Djustice Sears-Duru and Benoit Piffero in the front row and will be joined by Matt Tierney. Conor Keys makes his third straight ARC start and will be joined by O’Gorman at lock. Lucas Rumball, Ollie Nott and Burnaby native Admir Cejvanovic form the backrow.
Mack replaces Gordon McRorie at scrum-half with Povey taking over at fly-half in place of Gradyn Bowd. Taylor Paris and Dan Moor man the wings with Nick Blevins and Guiseppe du Toit in the centres. Vancouver’s Brock Staller starts at fullback.
“It’s always a special game and there’s a lot of new guys in the squad who have never played against the States,” Paris said. “They understand the rivalry but it’s different when you get actually get a crack at them. As long as we get the win it doesn’t matter what else happens.”
Lucas Albornoz is named as a replacement and could make his test debut Saturday if he plays. Saturday’s game marks the last time the two sides will meet before their pivotal Rugby World Cup qualifier later this year. Details for the two-game series has yet to be announced.
“Both teams will have a number of players out for this weekend’s game,” Anscombe said. “But you want to go into the game with confidence so both teams will want to get one up. It won’t have a major factor but it will give confidence to the winning team.”
Canada comes into Saturday’s game with a 38-16-1 record all-time against their rivals south of the border. However, the USA has won the last five match-ups, including last year’s ARC clash that was won 30-22 in Texas.
Canada last beat the USA 13-11 in the second leg of their Rugby World Cup qualifier in 2013. Before the USA’s recent run of victories, Canada had won the previous seven encounters dating back to 2009. Canada currently sits third in the ARC table after a 20-6 loss to Argentina and a 36-15 win over Chile last weekend. The USA is tied for first after beating Uruguay 29-23 and Brazil 51-3 in their first two games.
Saturday’s game can be seen LIVE on TSN GO at 8pm ET/5pm PT and the match will also be replayed on TSN 2 on Feb. 19 at 1pm ET/10am PT. Tickets are still available at http://events.rugbycanada.ca
Canada’s Men’s Team to face USA – Name, (Club/CRC) Hometown:
1. Rob Brouwer – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
2. Ray Barkwill – Captain (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
3. Matt Tierney – (Section Paloise/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
4. Conor Keys – (UVic Vikes/Atlantic Rock) Stittsville, ON
5. Reegan O’Gorman – (Marist Albion) Vancouver, BC
6. Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Scarborough, ON
7. Ollie Nott – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Qualicum, BC
8. Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
9. Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
10. Robbie Povey – (Bedford Athletic/Prairie Wolf Pack) Northampton, England
11. Taylor Paris – (Agen) Barrie, ON
12. Guiseppe Du Toit – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Maple Ridge, BC
13. Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
14. Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
15. Brock Staller – (UBC Thunderbirds/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
16. Benoit Piffero – (Blagnac Sporting Rugby Club/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
17. Djustice Sears -Duru – (Glasgow Warriors/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
18. Cole Keith – (James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock) Sussex, NB
19. Liam Chisholm – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Kenora, ON
20. Lucas Albornoz – (Burnaby Lake RC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC
21. Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
22. Gradyn Bowd – (UVIC Vikes/Prairie Wolf Pack) Red Deer, AB
23. George Barton – (Clermont Espoirs) Duncan, BC
2017 Americas Rugby Championship Standings (through two rounds):
Argentina – 9 points
USA – 9 points
Canada – 5 points
Brazil – 4 points
Uruguay – 1 point
Chile – 0 points
Canada’s 2017 Americas Rugby Championship Schedule:
Canada 6-20 Argentina — Feb. 4, Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC
Canada 36-15 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
About Rugby Canada
Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of rugby union in Canada. Rugby Union has a long history in Canada dating back to its initial appearance in the 1860s. Since 1974, Rugby Canada has been a permanent fixture on the global rugby scene, including trips to each of the eight Men’s Rugby World Cups and seven Women’s Rugby World Cups. As a regular on the Men’s and Women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Canada continues to climb the world rankings and challenge the dominant rugby nations in both versions of the game. Canada’s Women’s Rugby Sevens Team also made history in 2016, capturing the first-ever Bronze Medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Rugby Canada has also put a renewed emphasis on developing its junior programs to support the growth of rugby at the grass-roots level and to ensure there are elite programs for prospering young rugby players to become involved. Our goal is to develop and train competitive teams for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland, the 2018 Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, the 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan and 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.