Tyler Ardron has been named captain of Canada’s national team for their upcoming fixtures.
The back-rower, who made 22 appearances (one try) in his maiden season for the Ospreys after signing last summer, will lead his country into action against Japan, Scotland and USA over the coming weeks.
He is joined in the squad by wing Jeff Hassler, who scored 8 tries in 26 games in what was his first season with the region also, along with scrum-half Phil Mack, who spent a month with the Ospreys early in 2013-14 as short-term injury cover.
Canada Head Coach Kieran Crowley made the announcement on Sunday evening following an intensely competitive trial-match on Saturday.
“I see Tyler as a captain for the future and certainly he’s a young man with a level head and he’s shown that he has great maturity,” said Crowley.
“With the Ospreys he’s been brought into the leadership group and for a person to achieve that in their first year of professional rugby is a major compliment to him.”
The 22-year-old Ontario native succeeds current hooker Aaron Carpenter, who took over the captaincy following the 2011 Rugby World Cup and Pat Riordan’s retirement.
“Aaron has done a great job for Canada and we had a discussion about it and he’s 100% behind Tyler. Aaron has moved up to hooker and we see this as a chance for him to focus on trying to nail that position and not have the other parts of being a captain on his mind,” added Crowley.
Ardon has 13 total caps for Canada dating back to his debut on June 9, 2012 against the United States in Kingston, Ontario.
“It’s an incredible honour for me to be named Canada’s Captain and I would like to thank Kieran (Crowley), the coaching staff and management for their support," said Ardron following the announcement.
"I'm fortunate to have a core group of strong leaders and veterans on this roster such as Aaron Carpenter, DTH van der Merwe and Jamie Cudmore to name only a few,.
“To be in the same category as Canadian Rugby legends Gareth Rees, Al Charron, Morgan Williams, Pat Riordan and Aaron Carpenter as Captain is a huge privilege for me.”
Over the next three weeks Canada’s man roster will travel across North America and back to face three difficult opponents and during the June International Series.
“In our squad right now we have a great mix of veterans and some talented younger players and most of us have been together for a few years. We’re all building towards the World Cup next year and I think this summer’s tests are big opportunities for us,” added Ardron.
Canada face Japan on Saturday 7th June, Scotland on the 14th and USA on the 21st.