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Carpenter to captain Canada

05th June 2012 09:25

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Aaron Carpenter Canada v France RWC 2011

Aaron Carter: Replaces Pat Riordan

Canada number eight Aaron Carpenter has been confirmed as his country's captain for their Tests against the United States, Italy and Georgia.

The 29-year-old, who plays for Championship side Plymouth Albion, has played in 42 Tests and takes over the reins from hooker Pat Riordan.

Carpenter said it will be a huge honour to lead.

"I never expected it, but I am very happy," he told Canada Rugby's official website.

"Coach (Kieran) Crowley sat me down a few weeks ago and asked me if I would be comfortable being captain, and of course I said yes," added Carpenter.

Carpenter said his leadership style is that of a quiet, 'do-as-I-do' leader.

"I am not the greatest at pre-match speeches, but I am happy to do them when they are needed to fire the team up," he revealed.

The back-rower made his international debut in 2005 against the United States in Tokyo and has gone on to become a regular feature in the national squad.

Canada will be hoping to build on their strong performance at last year's World Cup.

"We took heaps away from the World Cup, going toe-to-toe against sides like France helped us realise we can compete with the big teams," said Carpenter.

"At the World Cup we made strides towards professionalism, which isn't about making money but about treating rugby as our full time jobs."

After attending McMaster University in Ontario, Carpenter played for the Brantford Harlequins before heading to England with Coventry and in 2010 he joined Plymouth Albion.

The Italy Test in Toronto will be particularly special for the Ontario raised Carpenter, who credits his high school coaches and the support of his wife and family in helping him become a professional rugby player.

"I am from Brantford and went to university in Hamilton, so I should have plenty of family members and friends in the crowd," he said.

"It's a rare opportunity to play a home Test in Canada, and to captain the side will be even more special. Hopefully the strong Italian community in Toronto will turn up and ensure it's a big crowd."

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