EDMONTON, AB (June 7, 2018) - Canada Men's Rugby Team Head Coach, Kingsley Jones has named his side for the 2018 Summer Series opener against Scotland on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.
Canada's leading try-scorer and most-capped player in the squad, DTH van der Merwe will captain the home team in what will be their first taste of tier one opposition in nearly two years.
6th ranked Scotland, who have been in fine form in 2018, will pose a major challenge to the Canadian outfit. However, Jones is happy with his team's preparations and will take heart from their narrow two-point loss in 2014, when the team's last met in Canada.
"We're pleased with the group that is playing. The twenty-three are looking strong, with some options off the bench," said head coach, Kingsley Jones.
Canada will, unfortunately, be without the services of Chiefs back-row, Tyler Ardron (concussion) and experienced utility back, Gordon McRorie (ankle) who have been ruled out of Saturday's encounter due to injury.
"Unfortunately, Tyler Ardron had a bump on the head a few weeks ago, playing for the Chiefs in New Zealand and has failed to pass his protocols so we've pulled him out. But it's a great opportunity for Luke Campbell, Matt Heaton and Lucas Rumball who we've been really pleased with over the last few weeks. Dustin Dobravsky will be on the bench who has also done very well," said Jones.
On losing Gordon McRorie:
"For us it's almost like losing two players in one; Gordon has got the ability to play nine and ten, but Shane O'Leary has been playing really well for Ealing Trailfinders and he played in a very good game against Leinster in the final of the B&I Cup, so he's ready and he's trained very well. We're looking forward to the game and it's exciting having young Theo Sauder on the bench as well," he added.
Significant milestones await for Phil Mack (co-captain) and Nick Blevins who take the field for the 50th occasion on Saturday.
"Phil and Nick deserve that, they've worked really hard and I've got so much respect for them. It's a massive achievement and it shouldn't be underestimated to play 50 times for your country and they've still got a bit of rugby in the tank as well," added Jones.
On the challenge of facing Scotland:
"They're a top side. Gregor Townsend is a very good coach, very positive and we're expecting a fast game. They'll try to create opportunities from turnovers and offload the ball so it's going to be an exciting game for the spectator," he added.
Canada vs. Scotland kicks off at 7pm local time (9pm ET/6pm PT).
Tickets > https://www1.ticketmaster.ca/event/1100547098D96F82
Watch LIVE on TSN 1.
Canada roster to face Scotland in Edmonton:
1. Noah Barker – James Bay AA/BC Bears (Courtenay, BC)
2. Ray Barkwill – Seattle Seawolves/Ontario Blues (Niagara Falls, ON)
3. Jake Ilnicki – Yorkshire Carnegie/BC Bears (Williams Lake, BC)
4. Paul Ciulini – Aurora Barbarians/Ontario Blues (Vaughan, ON)
5. Evan Olmstead – Auckland/Prairie Wolf Pack (Vancouver, BC)
6. Lucas Rumball – Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues (Mississauga, ON)
7. Matt Heaton – Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock (Godmanchester, QC)
8. Luke Campbell – James Bay AA/BC Bears (Victoria, BC)
9. Phil Mack – CO-CAPTAIN, Seattle Seawolves/BC Bears (Victoria, BC)
10. Shane O’Leary – Ealing Trailfinders (Cork, Ireland)
11. DTH van der Merwe – CAPTAIN, Glasgow Warriors (Victoria, BC)
12. Nick Blevins – Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary, AB)
13. Doug Fraser – Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears (Ladysmith, BC)
14. Jeff Hassler – Unattached/Prairie Wolf Pack (Okotoks, AB)
15. Pat Parfrey – Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock (St. John’s, NL)
16. Eric Howard – New Orleans Gold/Ontario Blues (Ottawa, ON)
17. Djustice Sears-Duru – Unattached/Ontario Blues (Oakville, ON)
18. Cole Keith – James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock (Sussex, NB)
19. Conor Keys – UVIC Vikes/Atlantic Rock (Stittsville, ON)
20. Dustin Dobravsky – Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears (Hanover, Germany)
21. Andrew Ferguson – Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues (Mississauga, ON)
22. Cole Davis – Calgary Saints/Prairie Wolf Pack (Calgary, AB)
23. Theo Sauder – UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver, BC)
1. Allan Dell (Edinburgh)
2. Fraser Brown VICE CAPTAIN (Glasgow Warriors)
3. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh)
4. Ben Toolis (Edinburgh)
5. Grant Gilchrist CAPTAIN (Edinburgh)
6. Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh)
7. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh)
8. David Denton (Leicester Tigers)
9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Scarlets)
10. Ruaridh Jackson VICE CAPTAIN (Glasgow Warriors)
11. Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks)
12. James Lang (Harlequins)
13. Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons)
14. Lee Jones (Glasgow Warriors)
15. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh)
16. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors)
17. Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors)
18. Murray McCallum (Edinburgh)
19. Lewis Carmichael (Edinburgh)
20. Luke Hamilton (unattached)
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors)
22. Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors)
23. Mark Bennett (Edinburgh)
Original article and image courtesy of Rugby Canada