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Rugby Canada – 17th ranked Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team set to face 13th seeded Italy to close out #RISEAsOne June Summer Series on Sunday at BMO Field in downtown Toronto; Newfoundland’s Hearn to join elite company as 16th man to win 50 Caps for Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO – Ciaran Hearn will become the 16th man to win 50 test caps for Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team on Sunday when they host Italy at BMO Field in downtown Toronto. The addition of Hearn at outside centre in place of Mozac Samson is the only change by head coach Mark Anscombe from last Saturday’s 46-21 win over Russia in Calgary.

“I don’t really pay attention to the numbers,” Hearn said. “I just go out whenever I can to play for my country and try to do the best I can. I’m not thinking about the 50th, I’m just thinking about going out there and getting a win in this next one.”

The 30-year-old spent the past season with London Irish after joining the English outfit after a successful 2015 Rugby World Cup. Hearn returned to Canada’s men’s sevens program last weekend for their Rio 2016 Repechage qualifier before flying back to Canada to link up with the senior men’s team for their final RISEAsOne Summer Series match of the summer.

Veteran Jamie Cudmore will once again captain the team as Canada looks to overturn a narrow 23-18 loss to Italy at last year’s Rugby World Cup. Djustice Sears-Duru, Ray Barkwill and Jake Ilnicki form the front row with Evan Olmstead starting alongside Cudmore at lock. Kyle Baillie and Lucas Rumball join Aaron Carpenter to complete the forward pack.

Gordon McRorie, who scored 26 points last weekend against Russia, starts at scrum half with St. John’s Pat Parfrey at fly-half. Ontario natives Taylor Paris and Dan Moor man the wings with Hearn pairing with Nick Blevins in centre and Matt Evans starting at fullback.

“We want to keep growing,” Anscombe said. “This is our last game after four weeks together. The progress is important and we have to keep showing that. The boys have trained well and the spirits are high.”

Seventeenth ranked Canada opened its RISEAsOne Summer Series with a 26-22 defeat to Japan at Vancouver’s BC Place before rebounding for a comprehensive win over the Russians last weekend. Italy, ranked 13th in the world, lost 30-24 to Argentina in the first game of their tour before collecting a narrow 24-20 against the USA last weekend in San Jose.

“They have a lot of the same faces and are very strong,” Anscombe said. “They’re very forward orientated, good strong scrum, good mauling lineout and like to play a power game and we’re going to have to be very alert.”

In last year’s meeting, Canadian winger DTH van der Merwe’s scintillating try created endless excitement around the rugby world which was later followed up by Matt Evans’ fantastic solo effort creating two of the most most memorable Canadian Rugby World Cup tries.

Canada and Italy have met eight previous times since their inaugural clash in 1983 with Canada winning twice. Italy has won the last five matchups including a 25-16 victory at BMO Field in June of 2012. Tickets are still available at http://events.rugbycanada.ca while Rugby Canada’s official broadcast partner, TSN, will have live coverage. Kickoff is 12pm ET/9am PT.

Canada’s Roster vs. Italy (Name, Club, Hometown):

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

2. Ray Barkwill – (Sacramento/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON

3. Jake Ilnicki – (San Diego/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC

4. Jamie Cudmore, captain – (Oyonnax) Squamish, BC

5. Evan Olmstead – (Newcastle Falcons/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC

6. Kyle Baillie – (Ohio/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI

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

8. Aaron Carpenter – (Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON

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

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

11. Taylor Paris – (Agen) Barrie, ON

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

13. Ciaran Hearn – (London Irish) Conception Bay, NL

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

15. Matt Evans – (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC

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

17. Tom Dolezel – (London St. George’s/Ontario Blues) London, ON 

18. Matt Tierney – (Section Paloise/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON

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

20. Matt Heaton – (Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock) Godmanchester, QC

21. Jamie Mackenzie – (UBCOB Ravens/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON

22. Liam Underwood – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON

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

Unavailable for selection:

Tyler Ardron – (Ospreys) Lakefield, ON

Brett Beukeboom – (Cornish Pirates) Lindsay, ON

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

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

Jeff Hassler – (Ospreys) Okotoks, AB

Phil Mackenzie – (San Diego/Ontario Blues), Oakville, ON

Jason Marshall – (Agen/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC

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

Benoit Piffero – (Avenir Castaneén Rugby XV/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC

Jebb Sinclair – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Fredericton, NB

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

Andrew Tiedemann – (Bourgoin/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB

DTH van der Merwe – (Scarlets) Victoria, BC

Doug Wooldridge – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON 

Unavailable due to Rugby Sevens Commitments:

Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK

Ciaran Hearn – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL

Nathan Hirayama – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC

Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC

John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON

Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

Canada’s Senior Men’s Coaching Staff:

Head Coach – Mark Anscombe

Assistant Coach – Graeme Moffat

Assistant Coach, Forwards – Michael Shelley

Technical Consultant (Auckland Blues) – Paul Feeney

Head Strength & Conditioning – Michael Deasy

Analyst – Aaron Takel

Physiotherapist – Mallory White

Athletic Therapist – Jessica Smith

Tour Manager – Jim Kazakoff

Operations & Logistics Manager – Alana Gattinger

Canada’s RISEAsOne Summer Series Schedule:

June 11 

Canada 22-26 Japan, BC Place

June 18 

Canada 46-21 Russia, Calgary Rugby Park

June 26 

Canada vs. Italy, BMO Field

Kick off – 12pm ET/9am PT

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 and 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Tokyo, Japan respectively, the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland, 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in USA and 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan. 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/RugbyCanada

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RugbyCanada

YouTube: www.youtube.com/RugbyCanada

Instagram: www.instagram.com/RugbyCanada  

Website: www.rugbycanada.ca 

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Bryan Kelly  I  Manager, Communications and Media Relations  I  Rugby Canada  I  3024 Glen Lake Road  I Langford, British Columbia, Canada V9B 4B4  I  Tel. 250.418.8998 ext. 314  I  Fax 250.386.3810  I Cell. 250.216.5272 | bkelly@rugbycanada.ca I www.rugbycanada.ca