Thorpe on bench for Canada

Date published: November 12 2014

Canada coach Kieran Crowley has announced his team to face Samoa at Stade de la Rabine in Vannes, France, their third game of the tour.

Canada head coach Kieran Crowley has named his side to face Samoa at Stade de la Rabine in Vannes on Friday, their third game of the tour.

Following a loss to a Championship XV side in Worcester on November 2, Canada snapped a three-match losing streak last weekend in Colwyn Bay, with a narrow 17-13 victory over Namibia.

This weekend, Crowley’s men will take on Samoa, who are fresh off a 24-13 loss last weekend to Canada’s Rugby World Cup 2015 opponent Italy.

For the third consecutive game, Canada will be led by captain Hubert Buydens at loosehead prop, with Aaron Carpenter and Jason Marshall their props. In the second-row, 31-cap veteran Jamie Cudmore returns to Canada’s line-up alongside Brett Buekeboom, who plays for Plymouth Albion.

With John Moonlight returning home to prepare for the Dubai and South Africa legs of the IRB World Sevens Series, the back-row features Kyle Gilmour, Nanyak Dala and Jebb Sinclair. All three played a crucial role in Canada’s victory last weekend, with Dala scoring the game-winning try.

Crowley’s backline is similar to last week, the biggest change sees Canada’s all-time points scorer James Pritchard returning to the full-back position, and DTH van der Merwe moving to wing. Gordon McRorie, Connor Braid, Ciaran Hearn and Conor Trainor are all retained.

Ospreys wing Jeff Hassler, who was a last-minute casualty from the line-up that faced Namibia in Colwyn Bay, returns and will be a major offensive boost for the backline.

Canada’s substitutes include Ray Barkwill, Jake Ilnicki, Andrew Tiedemann, Jon Phelan and Richard Thorpe of London Welsh. Thorpe, whose mother is from Burlington, Ontario and is a dual Canada-England citizen, is a mobile flank who could make his debut off the bench.

Canada: 15 James Pritchard, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Conor Trainor, 12 Ciaran Hearn, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Connor Braid, 9 Gordon McRorie, 8 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Nanyak Dala, 6 Kyle Gilmour, 5 Brett Buekeboom, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Jason Marshall, 2 Aaron Carpenter, 1 Hubert Buydens (capt).
Replacements: 16 Ray Barkwill, 17 Jake Ilnicki, 18 Andrew Tiedemann, 19 Jon Phelan, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Sean White, 22 Patrick Parfrey, 23 Jordan Wilson-Ross.

Date: Friday, November 14
Kick-off: 19:00 local, 18:00 GMT
Venue: Stade de la Rabine, Vannes, France
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland), Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Television match official: Geoff Warren (England)