Canada will take on Namibia at Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay on Friday, as both look to build momentum heading into 2015’s World Cup.
Canada will take on Namibia at Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay on Friday, as both nations look to build momentum going into next year’s Rugby World Cup.
The African side enter this game on the back of a morale-boosting 58-20 victory over Germany in Windhoek and have Jacques Burger returning.
His comeback is one of ten changes made by boss Danie Vermeulen as Exeter Chiefs full-back Chrysander Botha also comes into their line-up.
Namibia are in the same group as New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Georgia so these testing fixtures are perfect for their 2015 preparations.
Canada meanwhile, who had Sean Duke and Jason Marshall called into the Barbarians team that beat Leicester on Tuesday, are looking to enjoy welcome time together in preparation for next year. Therefore their four November fixtures are ideal for head coach Kieran Crowley.
Crowley’s men face France, Ireland, Italy and Romania at next year’s event on English soil, with these games equally vital due to some of their key players being based in Europe.
They would be forgiven for thinking last weekend’s loss to the Championship XV was unfortunate, with a controversial decision made by the referee and TMO seeing the hosts awarded a scrum when it should have been a defensive line-out. The key try soon followed.
Any feelings of disappointment would have been quickly put to rest as they look to bounce back from that 28-23 loss with a performance against Namibia, who they have met once previously in the 1999 Rugby World Cup pools when the Canadians ran out 72-11 winners.
Captaining the side for the second consecutive match this Friday will be loosehead prop Hubert Buydens, who is joined by Ray Barkwill and Marshall in Canada’s front-row.
Experienced London Irish second-row Jebb Sinclair makes his return alongside Tyler Hotson, with Kyle Gilmour, Nanyak Dala and John Moonlight continuing in the back-row.
Scrum-half Gord McRorie, who scored two tries last weekend, will provide service to the backs and is alongside Connor Braid in the halves. In the centres, Sevens stalwarts Ciaran Hearn and Conor Trainor will inject an exciting level of pace and skill through the midfield.
Joining Duke on the wing will be Ospreys finisher Jeff Hassler and Glasgow’s DTH van der Merwe in a strong back-three combination, with coach Crowley looking for a big effort.
“If you look at many of our last Test matches we’ve been in a position to win them but haven’t been able to finish them off. We’ve had a few lapses in concentration and a few systems errors and things and on Friday we need to fix those and hopefully get the win,” he said.
Canada: 15 DTH van der Merwe, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Conor Trainor, 12 Ciaran Hearn, 11 Sean Duke, 10 Connor Braid, 9 Gordon McRorie, 8 John Moonlight, 7 Nanyak Dala, 6 Kyle Gilmour, 5 Jebb Sinclair, 4 Tyler Hotson, 3 Jason Marshall, 2 Ray Barkwill, 1 Hubert Buydens (capt).
Replacements: 16 Doug Wooldridge, 17 Ryan Hamilton, 18 Jake Ilnicki, 19 Brett Buekeboom, 20 Aaron Carpenter, 21 Sean White, 22 Patrick Parfrey, 23 Jordan Wilson-Ross.
Namibia: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Danie Dames, 13 Darryl de la Harpe, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 David Philander, 10 Theuns Kotz