Canada unveils team for Italy clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Canada head coach Kingsley Jones has selected his 23-man matchday squad that will take the pitch against Italy in Fukuoka opener on Thursday.
This will be the first game of World Cup 2019 for 22nd-ranked Canada and the second for 14th-ranked Italy, who took down Namibia 47-22 on Sunday.
Peter Nelson won his first cap for Canada in July and two months later, he starts at flyhalf for the Canucks in their Pool B encounter.
🇨🇦 v 🇮🇹- Sept 24
⏱️3:45am ET/ 12:45am PT
📺 @TSN_Sports 1, 3, & 4
— Rugby Canada (@RugbyCanada) September 24, 2019
Nelson’s rise through the Canada ranks is all the more remarkable given he is a former player for Ireland’s Under-18 and Under-20 sides. Born in Northern Ireland, the 26-year-old qualifies to play for Canada through his Toronto-born grandmother.
LockJosh Larsen is also named in the Canada starting XV, coming in as a last-minute replacement for Justin Blanchet, who received a concussion in the friendly match against USA on September 7 and was consequently ruled out of the tournament.
Tyler Ardron captains the side at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium.
Canada: 15 Patrick Parfrey, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Ben Lesage, 12 Nick Blevins, 11 DTH Van Der Merwe, 10 Peter Nelson, 9 Gordon McRorie, 8 Tyler Ardron (captain), 7 Lucas Rumball, 6 Michael Sheppard, 5 Josh Larsen, 4 Conor Keys, 3 Matt Tierney, 2 Eric Howard, 1 Hubert Buydens.
Replacements: 16 Benoit Piffero, 17 Djustice Duru-Sears, 18 Jake Ilnicki, 19 Luke Campbell, 20 Matt Heaton, 21 Jamie Mackenzie, 22 Ciaran Hearn, 23 Andrew Coe.
Date: Thursday, September 26
Venue: Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka City
Kick-off: 16.45 (03.45 Eastern Canadian time; 07.45 GMT; 09.45 Italy time)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Karl Dickson (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)
The Canadian boys serving up some Japanese looks with STYLE 😎💁♂️
— Rugby Canada (@RugbyCanada) September 23, 2019
Source: @RugbyCanada & @rugbyworldcup