Last chance for Van der Merwe to make history
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Canada coach Kingsley Jones has gone for the most experienced line-up he can extract from his squad of 31 for Canada’s final match at World Cup 2019.
In probably their best chance to record a victory, Canada take on Namibia in the final Pool B match at the Kamaisha Memorial Stadium on Sunday.
Captain Tyler Ardron, Jeff Hassler, Conor Trainor, Ciaran Hearn, Gordon McRorie and DTH van der Merwe represent almost 50 World matches’ worth of experience in a team that has five changes from the one that started in the 7-66 defeat by South Africa.
Along with McRorie coming in the other changes to the starting team are Djustice Sears-Duru, Eric Howard, Conor Keys and Patrick Parfrey.
For Van der Merwe this match is his last chance to become one of five players in history – along with Wales’s Gareth Thomas, Samoa’s Brian Lima, Australia’s Adam Ashley-Cooper and Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll – to score at least one try at four different World Cups. Van der Merwe has failed to score at RWC 2019 but already made history by becoming the Canadian player with the most World Cup appearances (15).
Injuries and red cards have also forced Canada to call up Dustin Dobravsky to fill the back-up role for the second row. Dobravsky flew in on Wednesday to replace Mike Sheppard and is selected on the replacements bench even though he is likely to still have a touch of jet lag.
Canada have used every substitute in the previous matches so there is a good chance Dobravsky will appear some time during the game.
Canada: 15 Patrick Parfrey, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Conor Trainor, 12 Ciaran Hearn, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Peter Nelson, 9 Gordon McRorie, 8 Tyler Ardron (captain), 7 Matthew Heaton, 6 Lucas Rumball, 5 Conor Keys, 4 Evan Olmstead, 3 Jake Ilnicki, 2 Eric Howard, 1 Djustice Sears-Duru.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Quattrin, 17 Hubert Buydens, 18 Matthew Tierney, 19 Luke Campbell, 20 Dustin Dobravsky, 21 Jamie Mackenzie, 22 Shane O’Leary, 23 Andrew Coe.
Date: Sunday, October 13
Venue: Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, Kamaishi City
Kick-off: 12.15 (23.15 Canada-Eastern time Saturday, October, 12; 03.15 GMT; 05.15 Namibia time)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gaüzère (France), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
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