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Canada's first World Cup changes

Mon, 26 Sep 2011 00:00
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For their third 2011 Rugby World Cup match Canadian coach Kieran Crowley has made his first changes to his team - one in the starting XV and one on the bench - for the Canucks' Pool A match against Japan on Tuesday.

Canada have, compared with other sides, had a gentle voyage through the World Cup - just two matches so far while the Namibians have already finished their four matches.

They beat Tonga to start with and then lost to France. The slower pace of their fixtures has meant fewer injuries and so fewer changes.

The change to the starting XV is the introduction of wing Matt Evans who comes back from injury to take the place of Ciaran Hearn.

Cowley said of Evans: "Matt was the starting fullback against USA in Toronto in August when he received an injury. He was just about fit for the first two games of the World Cup but for this game we looked at what he could bring to the field in terms of an X-Factor."

The other change is on the bench where New Zealander Jeremy Kyne replaces Nigerian Nanyak Dala.

"Nanyak has been pretty damn good from the bench, but we just feel Jeremy brings a different style," explained the Canadian coach. "He's more of a ball-carrier, which could be needed toward the end of the game. The good thing is there's a real battle for positions."

Centre Ryan Smith will be playing his 50th Test for Canada who know that Japan could give them a good run for their money. In the 2007 Rugby World Cup the two teams drew 12-12 when Japan scored a converted try at the death.

Looking to the match, Smith said: "To be with this group is what makes it so special to me. It's always nice to reach milestones, but you want to share it with the people you love, your family and your teammates.

"This is the best group of guys, on and off the field, I've played with and that makes it very special."

Smith teams up with big, blond DTH van der Merwe who has been Canada's outstanding back at the World Cup.

Canada: 15 James Pritchard, 14 Matt Evans, 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 Jeremy Kyne, 20 Sean White, 21 Nathan Hirayama, 22 Conor Trainor.

Date: Tuesday, September 27
Kick-off: 17.00 (04.00 GMT)
Venue: McLean Park, Napier
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand), Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)

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