VICTORIA - Canadian Senior Men's National Team Head Coach Kieran Crowley has released his roster for the program's upcoming Test series against World-ranked no.9 Samoa, no.19 Russia and the New Zealand Maori.
Fresh off their successful runners-up performance at the Americas Rugby Championship, the program will now regroup and travel to Colwyn Bay in North Wales for pair of fixtures against Samoa and Russia and then will head to Oxford for their clash with the New Zealand Maori.
Of the 26 players selected, eight are from British Columbia and 22 have spent several years of their senior rugby plying their trade in BC's local club leagues. BC representatives include James Bay Athletic Association's Connor Braid and Sean White, Capilano RFC products Jason Marshall, Ryan Hamilton and Harry Jones; UVic Vikes and Canadian 7s standout Phil Mack, Cowichan Rugby Club product Matt Evans and UBC graduate Tyler Hotson.
Five more on the roster are currently competing in the Canadian Direct Insurance Premier League, a list that includes Castaway Wanderers standouts Hubert Buydens, Nanyak Dala and Ciaran Hearn, as well as James Bay reps John Moonlight and Jeff Hassler.
The fixtures at Parc Eirias will be the first senior rugby internationals held at the stadium - the home of North Wales regional team RGC1404.
The IRB International Series at Colwyn Bay kicks off on Friday, November 9th with USA versus Russia, followed immediately by Canada’s game against Samoa. Saturday, November 17th has another double-header, with Canada’s game against Russia following Tonga versus USA.
Canada have not played the Maori since 2003 when the New Zealand rep side toured north for two fixtures back in 2003. James Pritchard - who now plays professionally in England for the Bedford Blues - is the only remaining member of the Canadian squad from the 2003 series.
“We are looking forward to the tour and feel we have three very good games lined up,” said Crowley. “Samoa is going to be a tough challenge as always, being ranked 10th in the world, and Russia is an always improving program. The New Zealand Maori will be a big test for our team, as they are a team that has a proud record of results.”
Domestically, five members of Canadian Rugby Championship’s (CRC) Pacific Tyee are included in the squad, with four each from CRC champion Ontario Blues and Prairie Wolf Pack. The Rock are represented by two players.
Fall Tour Schedule:
Friday, November 9: Canada vs Samoa (Parc Elrias, Colwyn Bay) 8:15pm
Saturday, November 17: Canada vs Russia (Parc Elrias, Colwyn Bay) 8:15pm
Friday, November 23: Canada vs New Zealand Maori (Iffley Road, Oxford) 7:30pm
Canada results vs New Zealand Maori:
July 26, 2003 (Toronto) L 27-65
August 2, 2003 (Calgary) L 9-30
Canada results vs Russia:
November 28, 2009 (Vancouver) W 22-6
June 8, 2011 (Esher) W 34-18
Canada results vs Samoa:
May 29, 1999 (Vancouver) L 13-17
July 1, 2000 (Apia) L 22-41
Canadian roster for 2012 Fall Tour:
Name (Club/CRC Club) Hometown
Tyler Ardron (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON
Ray Barkwill (Niagara, Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
Nick Blevins (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Connor Braid* (James Bay AA/Pacific Tyee) Victoria, BC
Brett Beukeboom (Plymouth Albion RFC) Lindsay, ON
Hubert Buydens* (Castaway Wanderers/Saskatoon Wild Oats/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Aaron Carpenter (Plymouth Albion RFC) Brantford, ON
Nanyak Dala* (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Matt Evans (Cornish Pirates) Duncan, BC
Ryan Hamilton* (Castaway Wanderers/Capilano/Pacific Tyee) West Vancouver, BC
Jeff Hassler* (James Bay AA/Okotoks RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) Okotoks, AB
Ciaran Hearn* (Castaway Wanderers/The Rock) Conception Bay, NL
Tyler Hotson (London Scottish RFC) Vancouver, BC
Harry Jones* (Capilano/ Pacific Tyee) North Vancouver, BC
Phil Mack* (UVic Vikes/Pacific Tyee) Victoria, BC
Phil Mackenzie (London Welsh) Oakville, ON
Jason Marshall (Aurillac) North Vancouver, BC
John Moonlight* (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Chauncey O’Toole (Brigand Ravens) Belleisle, NB
Taylor Paris (Glasgow Warriors) Barrie, ON
Jon Phelan (Ste-Anne-de-Bellvue/The Rock) Montreal, QC
James Pritchard (Bedford Blues) Parkes, NSW, Australia
Jebb Sinclar (London Irish) Charters Settlement, NB
Andrew Tiedemann (FC Auch Gers) St. Albert, AB
Sean White* (James Bay AA/Pacific Tyee) Victoria, BC
Doug Wooldridge (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
*Denotes players currently registered with BC Rugby clubs