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Rugby Canada – Veteran front-rower to lead Canada in first-ever game against Brazil in third Americas Rugby Championship test-match at the home of Canadian Rugby in Langford, BC
LANGFORD, BC –  Interim Senior Men’s Head Coach Francois Ratier has made five changes for Saturday’s Americas Rugby Championship clash with Brazil at Westhills Stadium.


Loosehead prop Djustice Sears-Duru will get his first start of the tournament in place of Hubert Buydens who drops to the bench. Kenora, Ont., native Liam Chisholm, who made his test debut against the USA last weekend, will start at lock while Andrew Ferguson gets the nod at scrum half.


Duncan Maguire, who scored his first test try on debut against the USA, starts on the wing while UBC Thunderbird Brock Staller, who was called into the squad earlier this week, starts at outside centre in his test debut. Eric Howard, Rob Brouwer, Mike Hamson, Jake Robinson, Joe Dolesau and Brett Johnson are all named to the bench and could potentially earn their first test caps too.


“The players are ready to play Brazil,” Ratier said. “There is a very good atmosphere in the team and the energy has been high since our last game. We’re ready to go.”


Sears-Duru joins Jake Ilnicki and Ray Barkwill, who will captain Canada for the first time, in the front row while Paul Ciulini gets his third straight start at lock. Lucas Rumball, Alistair Clark and Clay Panga all keep their spots in the back row while Calgary’s Gradyn Bowd starts at fly half.


Dan Moor joins Maguire on the wing while Nick Blevins is paired with Staller in the centres. Pat Parfrey makes his third straight start at fullback.


“We’ve prepared for this home game as we did for the Uruguay game,” Ratier said. “Nothing is different. We have the same energy and the same type of players on the field. I’m sure we’re going to respond to the challenge.”


Canada enters Saturday’s clash in third place in the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship standings. Canada opened its campaign with a blistering 33-17 win over Uruguay at Westhills Stadium before narrowly losing 30-22 to the USA in Austin, Texas, last weekend.


Saturday’s game against Brazil will make history as it will be the first time the two sides have ever faced off in an official test match. Brazil are ranked 42nd in the world and are winless in the ARC after bonus point defeats to Chile and Uruguay.


“We’ve watched their last two games and it’s a team that likes playing rugby and never gives up,” Ratier said. “They like to offload the ball and kick the ball a lot. I’m expecting a very open style of rugby from Brazil.”


The ARC will give Canada four additional test matches a year with games against Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and the USA. They will also travel to Argentina as part of the ARC although it will not be classified as a test match. Saturday’s game kicks off at 7pm ET / 4pm PT and can be seen LIVE at Tickets to the game are still available and can be purchased at


Canada’s Team to face Brazil (Name, club, hometown):


1. Djustice Sears-Duru – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON

2. Ray Barkwill – Captain (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON

3. Jake Ilnicki – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC

4. Paul Ciulini – (Aurora Barbarians/Ontario Blues) Vaughan, ON

5. Liam Chisholm – (UVIC Vikes) Kenora, ON

6. Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Scarborough, ON

7. Alistair Clark – (Bay Street Pigs/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON

8. Clay Panga – (Westshore Valhallians/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB

9. Andrew Ferguson – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON

10. Gradyn Bowd – (UVIC Vikes/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB

11. Duncan Maguire – (St. Albert RFCC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB

12. Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB

13. Brock Staller – (UBC Thunderbirds/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

14. Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON

15. Pat Parfrey – (Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL

16. Eric Howard – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Ottawa, ON

17. Hubert Buydens – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK

18. Rob Brouwer – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON

19. Kyle Baillie – (St. Albert RFC/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI

20. Michael Hamson – (Halifax Tars/Atlantic Rock) Halifax, NS

21. Jacob Robinson – (St. Albert RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB

22. Joe Dolesau – (Burnaby Lake RC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC

23. Brett Johnson – (Truro Saints/Atlantic Rock) Truro, NS


Unavailable for selection due to injury:


Kyle Gilmour – (Rotherham Titans/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB

Phil Mackenzie – (Sale Sharks/Ontario Blues), Oakville, ON

Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB

Callum Morrison – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Victoria, BC

Mozac Samson – (Calgary Saints/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB


Canada’s Senior Men’s Coaching Staff:


Francois Ratier – Interim Head Coach

Jamie Cudmore – Forwards/defence coach

Graeme Moffat – Attack coach

Mike Shelley – Scrum coach

Chris Silverthorn – Forwards coach

Andy Evans – Strength and Conditioning coach

James Kent – Performance analyst


Americas Rugby Championship | 2016 Competition Calendar

(Home v Away)


Round 1 – Weekend of Feb. 6 -7, 2016

Canada 33-17 Uruguay

USA 35-35 Argentina

Chile 25-22 Brazil


Round 2 – Weekend of Feb. 13 – 14, 2016

USA 30-22 Canada

Argentina 52-15 Chile

Brazil 29-33 Uruguay


Round 3 – Weekend of Feb. 20 -21, 2016

Canada v Brazil

USA v Chile

Uruguay v Argentina


Round 4 – Weekend of Feb. 27 – 28, 2016

Argentina v Canada

Brazil v USA

Chile v Uruguay


Round 5 – Weekend of March 5 – 6, 2016

Chile v Canada

Uruguay v USA

Brazil v Argentina


Americas Rugby Championship standings:


1. USA (8 points)

2. Argentina XV (8 points)

3. Canada (5 points)

4. Uruguay (5 points)

5. Chile (4 points)

6. Brazil (2 points)


About Rugby Canada


Rugby Canada is the national governing  body  of  the  sport  of  rugby  union  in Canada.  Rugby Football 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.


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 with, Rugby Canada has put an emphasis on developing its junior programs.  Our goal is to develop and train competitive teams for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland and 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan. 










For more information, please contact:


Bryan Kelly, Rugby Canada

Manager, Communications and Media Relations

Phone: 250-216-5272