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Canada to face Samoa, Russia and New Zealand Maori in November
 
Published Wednesday, September 19, 2012
by Rugby Canada Communications


The National Senior Men's team are heading overseas to the UK for their 2012 November Test window, where they will take on Samoa, Russia and finish off their trip by taking on the New Zealand Maori.  

"We are looking forward to the challenge of three quality games this November, with each team providing a different style of game," said Canadian Head Coach Kieran Crowley.  "Samoa is a very physical and hard running squad, while we feel Russia brings a strong forward-based game. The New Zealand Maori will bring a typical hard nosed approach with some real x-factor.  It's a chance for our players and the team to further develop our game on an international stage."

The 2012 November Test window will open on Friday, November 9th for the Canadian team, when they will travel north to Colwyn Bay, Wales to take on Samoa.  

The Canadian team has faced off against Samoa twice, in 1999 and 2000 during the Pacific Rim Championship.  With the Canadians taking the loss during their last meeting in the Samoan Capital of Apia in 2000, the Canadians will be looking to start their tournament off with a big win against the tough Samoan team.

The Canadian squad will stay over in Colwyn Bay, Wales for their second match of the November test window, where they will do battle with Russia a week later on Friday, November 16th.  

Canada has also faced off against Russia twice in the past, with the last match taking place during the 2011 Churchill Cup in Esher.  During the 2011 match, the Canadians came away with the 34-18 victory.

The final match of the November test window will take them to Oxford, England and see them take on the New Zealand Maori.  In their last match up with the mighty Maori, during the 2007 Churchill Cup, the Canadians found themselves on the wrong side of a 59-23 loss. 

"It is vital for our program that our team plays matches at this level and we look forward to renewing the rivalry with Samoa, Russia, and NZ Maori. All three matches are big challenges and well above the standard of play we can create domestically," said Gareth Rees, National Men's Program Manager.  "It is equally important for our players to be immersed in the steep rugby culture of the UK and the atmosphere around all the November internationals. We are grateful to the IRB, Welsh Rugby Union and the Rugby Football Union for hosting us."

Looking ahead to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which will be held in England, the IRB are excited to have 21 fixtures this November.  Canada will be one of 12 unions to participate in the November test window in 2012, the first since 2010 due to the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "This is an exciting development for the global Game. The IRB is committed to facilitating an annual international competition schedule for our Tier 2 Unions and these matches will be crucial to ensuring that there is increased competitiveness on the global stage and at Rugby World Cup 2015.

"There will be an unprecedented number of international fixtures across Europe in November, which will give sports fans a taste of what to expect in 2015 when England hosts the world's top 20 nations for Rugby World Cup."  

IRB Head of Development and Performance Mark Egan said: "The November fixtures will play a significant role in the continued development of those Unions that have been identified for High performance support as part of our annual 10 million strategic investment programme. With an eye on Rugby World Cup 2015, coaches will be looking to assess their players in a competitive test match environment and the IRB will have the opportunity to benchmark the progress of the top ranked Tier 2 Unions against both each other and in the case of the Pacific Island Unions, against Tier 1 opposition.    

The November Tier 2 Test Match programme compliments our portfolio of standalone strategic investment tournaments in June such as the Pacific Nations Cup and Nations Cup and the Americas Rugby Championship which takes place in Canada in October. We are particularly excited about the double header IRB International Rugby Series matches which will take place in Colwyn Bay North Wales on November 9th and 17th and the historic first time visits of Japan and Fiji to Georgia."

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