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Rugby Canada – 40-Cap winger to lead 18th world-ranked Canada against 16th seeded “The Oaks” at Stadionul Arcul de Triumf in Bucharest

BUCHAREST, Romania — Canada’s senior men’s head coach Mark Anscombe has made three changes to his starting XV for Saturday’s test match against Romania.

Ben Lesage will make his test debut at inside centre while Admir Cejvanovic and Matt Heaton make their first test starts for Canada. DTH van der Merwe will captain the side. The game can be seen LIVE on TSN 2 and TSN GO at 11am ET/8am PT.

Anscombe has made no changes up front as Djustice Sears-Duru, Ray Barkwill and Jake Ilnicki occupy the front row with Brett Beukeboom and Evan Olmstead starting at lock. Heaton joins Kyle Baillie at flanker while Cejvanovic, who made his test debut off the bench against Ireland, replaces the injured Aaron Carpenter at No. 8.

Gordon McRorie, who nailed all three conversions against Ireland, starts at scrum-half with Connor Braid getting his second consecutive start at fly-half. Taylor Paris and van der Merwe maintain their spots on the wing while Conor Trainor is joined by Ben Lesage at centre as the Calgary native will earn his first test cap Saturday. Matt Evans maintains his place at fullback.

Lesage was with Canada during their RISEAsOne Summer Series but failed to make his test debut during the three-match series. He was part of the Canada ‘A’ tour to the UK as well as playing in the Americas Pacific Challenge last month where he scored four tries in just three games.

There’s also the opportunity for Conor Keys to make his test debut as the Stittsville, Ont., native is named as a replacement. Saturday’s match is a rematch from last year’s Rugby World Cup where Romania came back from a 15-0 deficit to sneak past Canada 17-15.

Canada is 2-4 all-time against Romania with their last victory coming at the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Romania has won the past four matchups.

Canada’s Roster vs. Romania (Name, club, hometown):

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

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

3. Jake Ilnicki – (Manawatu Turbos/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC

4. Brett Beukeboom – (Cornish Pirates) Lindsay, ON

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

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

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

8. Admir Cejvanovic – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC

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

10. Connor Braid – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC

11. Taylor Paris – (Agen) Barrie, ON

12. Ben Lesage – (UBC Thunderbirds/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB

13. Conor Trainor – (RC Vannes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC

14. DTH van der Merwe – Captain (Scarlets) Victoria, BC 

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

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

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

18. Ryan Kotlewski – (Westshore RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB

19. Conor Keys – (UVIC Vikes/Atlantic Rock) Stittsville, ON

20. Clay Panga – (Westshore RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB

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

22. Pat Parfrey – (James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL

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

Unavailable for selection:

Tyler Ardron – (Ospreys) Lakefield, ON

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

Aaron Carpenter – (London Welsh/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON

Jamie Cudmore – (Oyonnax) Squamish, BC

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

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

Jeff Hassler – (Ospreys) Okotoks, AB

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

Phil Mackenzie – (Unattached/Ontario Blues), Oakville, ON

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

Cam Pierce – (Section Paloise/Kelowna Crows) Vernon, BC

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

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

Jordan Wilson-Ross – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Alliston, ON

Men’s Coaching Staff: 

Mark Anscombe – Head Coach

Graeme Moffat – Assistant Coach

Mike Shelley – Scrum Coach

Aaron Takel – Performance Analyst

Michael Deasy – Strength and Conditioning

Mallory White – Physiotherapist

Jessica Smith – Physiotherapist

Dr. Peet Du Toit – Doctor

Mark Winokur – Tour Manager

Alana Gattinger – Operations & Logistics Manager

Canada’s November Tour Schedule:

Canada 21-52 Ireland — Nov. 12 

Canada vs. Romania — Nov. 19 — Stadionul Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest — 11am ET/8am PT

Canada vs. Samoa — Nov. 25 —Stade des Alpes, Grenoble — 3pm ET/12pm 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. 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.

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 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. 







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 | I