Canada unchanged for French affair
Canada's team that defeated Tonga 25-20 has been rewarded with another task, as an unchanged line-up was named to take on France in Napier on Sunday.
Backing up from a physical match with Tonga was always going to be a concern with the quick turnaround between games, but the coaching staff has been given the green light by the team's medical staff to utilise everyone from Wednesday's 22.
"We wanted to reward an outstanding performance," forwards coach Neil Barnes said. "And with the four-day turnaround, consistency is key."
Canada's forward pack dealt with the Tongans handily in the set piece on Wednesday and Pat Riordan returns as captain to lead his side and the forward pack at hooker.
He is joined in the front row by Hubert Buydens at loosehead and Jason Marshall at tighthead. All three players had their work cut out for them against a strong Tongan front row, but proved they were worth their weight in gold on Wednesday, providing a stable platform for the backline to attack from.
The platform was also contributed to by the remainder of the tight five, try-scorer Jebb Sinclair and Jamie Cudmore, who return for France. The back row combination of man of the match winner Adam Kleeberger, Chauncey O'Toole and try-scorer Aaron Carpenter also return.
The squad's most capped player, Ed Fairhurst, leads the backline, again linking with flyhalf Ander Monro. Phil Mackenzie remains on a hot streak on the left wing, having scored four tries in as many games for Canada (although one appearance was uncapped against the Australian Barbarians) and Ciaran Hearn shores up the right wing.
Ryan Smith and DTH van der Merwe fill in the centre slots while James Pritchard returns to fullback.
Canada: 15 James Pritchard, 14 Ciaran Hearn, 13 DTH van der Merwe, 12 Ryan Smith, 11 Phil Mackenzie, 10 Ander Monro, 9 Ed Fairhurst, 8 Aaron Carpenter, 7 Chauncey O'Toole, 6 Adam Kleeberger, 5 Jamie Cudmore, 4 Jebb Sinclair, 3 Jason Marshall, 2 Pat Riordan (captain), 1 Hubert Buydens.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Hamilton, 17 Scott Franklin, 18 Tyler Hotson, 19 Nanyak Dala, 20 Sean White, 21 Nathan Hirayama, 22 Conor Trainor.
Date: Sunday, September 18
Venue: McLean Park, Napier
Kick-off: 20.30 (08.30 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand), Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)