Canucks primed for Tonga clash
September 12, 2011
Chauncey O'Toole is named at openside for Canada © Getty Images
The Canucks have named their side for the clash with Tonga and have called upon influential second-row Jamie Cudmore.
Cudmore was part of Canada's 2003 and 2007 World Cup squads, but a combination of injuries and commitments with French team Clermont Auvergne meant he spent almost four years out of the national reckoning. Cudmore's first appearance since Canada lost to Fiji at the 2007 showpiece came when he played in the victory over Russia at the 2011 Churchill Cup in June.
The biggest player in the Canucks squad, at 198cm and 116kg, Cudmore then anchored the second-row in the their two Test match wins over USA in August and the final World Cup warm-up, a loss to the Australian Barbarians later that month. Coach Kieran Crowley said Cudmore's experience was welcome for Wednesday's World Cup opener.
"It's his first time he's been back since I've been here, which is three and a half years," Crowley said. "It's not that he hasn't wanted to be in, he's been missing through either injury or other circumstances so it's great to see him back.
"He brings great experience, there is only him and DTH van der Merwe who play in the top leagues in the world - then we have three players who have division one in England and the rest of the guys are locals.
"He brings experience at that level and he brings the attitude of a hardened professional player. He's adapted to the team very well - he's just one of the guys."
Crowley stays with the same 22 chosen for the match against the Australian Barbarians. Ryan Smith starts at inside centre, having come off the bench in both Tests against the Americans, while Ed Fairhurst is back at scrum-half. Ciaran Hearn and Adam Kleeberger are retained at right wing and blindside flanker respectively after coming on as replacements in Canada's first warm-up match against the USA on 6 August.
Canada: James Pritchard, Ciaran Hearn, DTH Van Der Merwe, Ryan Smith, Phil Mackenzie, Ander Monro, Ed Fairhurst; Hubert Buydens, Pat Riordan (capt), Jason Marshall, Jebb Sinclair, Jamie Cudmore, Adam Kleeberger, Chauncey O'Toole, Aaron Carpenter
Replacements: Ryan Hamilton, Scott Franklin, Tyler Hotson, Nanyak Dala, Conor Trainor, Sean White, Nathan Hirayama
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