Captain Hubert Buydens returns to the starting XV, while Pau’s Cam Pierce has been called into Canada’s squad, as Senior Men’s Interim Head Coach Francois Ratier has named his side for Sunday’s Americas Rugby Championship match against Argentina XV.
Phil Mackenzie and Gordon McRorie, who both missed last Saturday’s 52-25 win over Brazil with injury, also return to the lineup.
While Argentina’s squad for the ARC is a full senior side with a number of test players, the majority of their first choice senior players are currently involved with the Argentina Jaguares who are playing in their inaugural season in Super Rugby. Sunday’s game will not be an official test match.
“Training has been really good so far since we’ve arrived in Argentina,” Ratier said. “It’s been over 35 degrees each day but the players and staff have done a good job adapting.”
Buydens join’s last week’s captain Ray Barkwill and Djustice Sears-Duru in the front row while Summerside, PEI, native Kyle Baillie earns his first start of the year at lock alongside Pierce. Pierce has joined the Canadian setup for the two games in South America. The 24-year-old has played in four games this season for Top 14 side Pau after helping them earn promotion last year as champions.
“Cam is a pro and he knows what his job is,” Ratier said. “He’s happy to be here and he fits well into our team culture.”
The back row trio of Alistair Clark, Lucas Rumball and Clay Panga maintain their spots with McRorie slotting in at scrum half. Pat Parfrey, who started the first three games at fullback, gets the nod at fly half as Gradyn Bowd drops to the bench.
Duncan Maguire and Dan Moor again man the wings with Nick Blevins and Mackenzie starting in the centres. Vancouver’s Brock Staller, who made his test debut last Saturday at outside centre, starts at fullback.
Canada is coming off of their second straight home win after running in seven tries in a comprehensive win over Brazil. Canada had opened its ARC campaign with a 33-17 victory over Uruguay in Langford, BC, before narrowly losing 30-22 to the USA in Week 2.
Argentina XV began their campaign with a 35-35 draw with the USA before beating Chile 52-15. Argentina XV narrowly squeaked past Uruguay 24-21 last week away from home. Canada is 2-6 all-time against Argentina in test matches with their last meeting coming in 2005 when Canada won 22-15 at the Calgary Rugby Park. In recent years, Argentina’s Jaguars won the old Americas Rugby Championship tournament five times while never losing a game.
Sunday’s game kicks off at 3pm ET/12pm PT with streaming details still to be confirmed.
Canada’s Team to face Argentina XV (Name, club, hometown):
- Hubert Buydens, Captain – (Castaway Wanderers/Prairie Wolf Pack) Saskatoon, SK
- Ray Barkwill – (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
- Djustice Sears-Duru – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
- Kyle Baillie – (St. Albert RFC/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI
- Cam Pierce – (Pau) Vernon, BC
- Alistair Clark – (Bay Street Pigs/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
- Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Scarborough, ON
- Clay Panga – (Westshore Valhallians/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
- Gordon McRorie – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
- Pat Parfrey – (Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL
- Duncan Maguire – (St. Albert RFCC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
- Nick Blevins – (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
- Phil Mackenzie – (Sale Sharks/Ontario Blues), Oakville, ON
- Dan Moor – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON
- Brock Staller – (UBC Thunderbirds/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
- Eric Howard – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Ottawa, ON
- Ryan Kotlewski – (Calgary Saints/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
- Rob Brouwer – (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
- Alex Mascott – (UBC Thunderbirds/BC Bears) Langley, BC
- Michael Hamson – (Halifax Tars/Atlantic Rock) Halifax, NS
- Andrew Ferguson – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON
- Gradyn Bowd – (UVIC Vikes/Prairie Wolf Pack) Calgary, AB
- Jacob Robinson – (St. Albert RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB
Canada’s Coaching Staff:
Francois Ratier — Head Coach
Chris Silverthorn — Assistant Coach
James Kent — Performance Analyst
Andy Evans — Strength and Conditioning Coach
Carla Brash— Athletic Therapist
Rich Gregory — Athletic Therapist
Dr. John Gillis — Team Doctor
Mark Winokur — Team Manager