Canada Head Coach Kieran Crowley has named his 31-man squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which includes Tyler Ardron as captain.
He’s joined in the squad by his regional colleague, Jeff Hassler, the pair heading to their first ever World Cup, which they will kick-off in the familiar surroundings of the Millennium Stadium.
Crowley, a World Cup winner as a player in 1987 with the All Blacks, enters his fifth World Cup campaign, having been to the first two as a player with New Zealand, serving one as a selector, and now entering his second in a row as coach of Canada.
“Tyler is part of the leadership group at Ospreys and captained them during the Six Nations this year” said Crowley.
“He’s young but will call on the experience of Jamie Cudmore, Aaron Carpenter, Hubert Buydens and DTH Van Der Merwe, who all have World Cup experience, to help provide leadership.”
Compared to their Pool D opponents, the team is relatively young with 18 players making their World Cup debuts. There are only 650 test caps between all 31 players selected to the World Cup squad.
Cudmore will suit up for his fourth World Cup, becoming only the fifth player in Canadian history to play at four World Cups, joining Gareth Rees, Rod Snow, Mike James and Al Charron. Carpenter and Van Der Merwe will be playing in their third World Cup.
“They bring a wealth of experience,” Crowley said. ”Jamie’s been around a long time and Jebb Sinclair and Jason Marshall were both in the last World Cup. You can’t beat experience and it will add a lot to the group.
“For all of the players selected, the World Cup represents rugby’s greatest stage and we have an opportunity to uphold Canada’s history dating back to 1987.”
Canada has been drawn into Pool D where they will face world ranked number two Ireland, 2011 RWC runners up France, Six Nations participants Italy and Romania, who have a fully funded professional set up. Canada has played all four teams before at a World Cup and is 2-5 with the two wins coming against Romania in 1991 and 1995.
Canada, currently ranked 18th in the world and lowest among Pool D members, had their best finish at a World Cup in 1991, when the team reached the quarterfinals.
Canada’s Rugby World Cup 31-man Roster:
Tyler Ardron – Captain (Ospreys) Lakefield, ON
Ray Barkwill – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
Brett Beukeboom – (Cornish Pirates) Lindsay, ON
Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
Connor Braid – (Unattached/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Hubert Buydens – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Aaron Carpenter – (Cornish Pirates/Ontario Blues) Brantford, ON
Jamie Cudmore – (Clermont Auvergne) Squamish, BC
Nanyak Dala – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
Matt Evans – (Cornish Pirates) Maple Bay, BC
Kyle Gilmour – (Rotherham Titans/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Jeff Hassler – (Ospreys) Okotoks, ON
Ciaran Hearn – (Castaway Wanderers/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay, NL
Nathan Hirayama – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
Phil Mack – (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Jamie Mackenzie – (UBCOB Ravens/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Phil Mackenzie – (Sale Sharks/Ontario Blues), Oakville, ON
Jason Marshall – (Agen/BC Bears) North Vancouver, BC
Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
John Moonlight – (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Evan Olmstead – (Parramatta Two Blues/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC
Benoit Piffero – (Unattached/Atlantic Rock) Montreal, QC
Djustice Sears-Duru – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
Jebb Sinclair – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Fredericton, NB
Richard Thorpe – (London Welsh) Beckenham, England
Andrew Tiedemann – (Unattached/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Conor Trainor – (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
Liam Underwood – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
DTH van der Merwe – (Scarlets) Victoria, BC
Doug Wooldridge – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
Road to the Rugby World Cup:
August 29 – Canada vs. Glasgow Warriors (Wanderers Grounds, Halifax)
September 2 – Canada vs. Georgia (Esher, England)
September 6 – Canada vs. Fiji (The Stoop, England)
Rugby World Cup Pool Matches:
September 19 – Canada vs. Ireland (Cardiff, Wales)
September 26 – Canada vs. Italy (Leeds, England)
October 1 – Canada vs. France (Milton Keynes, England)
October 6 – Canada vs. Romania (Leicester, England)