Cudmore returns for Canada

Date published: November 24 2016

Veteran second-row Jamie Cudmore will return to Canada’s starting line-up for Friday’s Test against Samoa in Grenoble.

Cudmore missed the first two games of Canada’s end-of-year tour due to injury but has now been recalled. Rob Brouwer, Phil Mack, Nick Blevins and Ciaran Hearn also receive starts as head coach Mark Anscombe makes five changes.

Brouwer joins Ray Barkwill and Jake Ilnicki in the front row while Brett Beukeboom starts opposite Cudmore at lock.

Evan Olmstead shifts to blindside flanker while Heaton again gets the nod at openside with Admir Cejvanovic starting his second straight game at number eight.

Mack replaces Gordon McRorie at scrum-half while Connor Braid again starts at fly-half. Conor Trainor joins captain DTH van der Merwe on the wings while Blevins and Hearn form the centre duo. Matt Evans occupies his usual spot at full-back.

Conor Keys is named to the bench again as he hopes to earn his first Test cap for Canada while Matt Tierney and Andrew Ferguson earn recalls.

Canada, ranked 18th in the world, will be looking to finish their tour on a high after losses to Ireland (54-21) and Romania (21-16). In five previous attempts, Canada has never beaten Samoa.

The two sides met last year at BMO Field in Toronto as part of the 2015 Pacific Nations Cup where Samoa stole victory with a last minute try to claim a 21-20 win.

Fourteenth ranked Samoa are also winless on their November Tour after a heavy 52-8 defeat to France and a 20-16 loss to Georgia.
Canada: 15 Matt Evans, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Nick Blevins, 11 Conor Trainor, 10 Connor Braid, 9 Phil Mack, 8 Admir Cejvanovic, 7 Matt Heaton, 6 Evan Olmstead, 5 Brett Beukeboom, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Jake Ilnicki, 2 Ray Barkwill, 1 Rob Brouwer      
Replacements: 16 Eric Howard, 17 Djustice Sears-Duru, 18 Matt Tierney, 19 Conor Keys, 20 Clay Panga, 21 Andrew Ferguson, 22 Pat Parfrey, 23 Ben Lesage 

Date: Friday, November 25
Venue: Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
Kick-off: 20:00 local(19.00 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Gary Conway (Ireland)