Preview: Canada v Ireland
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 15:22
Rare chance for a win
Canada lock Jebb Sinclair and wing Matt Evans have overcome concussion concerns to start against Ireland at BMO Field on Saturday.
Sinclair, Evans and wing Sean Duke all had to go through concussion protocols after blows to the head in an ill-tempered win over Tonga last weekend - which resulted in three suspensions for the Pacific Islanders.
Duke, however, did not make the matchday 23 for Saturday.
Ireland, meanwhile, are introducing another new face in a relatively inexperienced line-up against Canada.
Centre James Downey, at 32, will earn his first cap.
He's one of seven changes made by interim coach Les Kiss from the team containing five new caps that edged the United States 15-12 last weekend in steamy Houston.
Wing Andrew Trimble will win his 50th cap for Ireland, but the entire starting 15 totals just 191 caps.
That's up from the 119-cap squad that faced the Americans last week.
Ian Madigan, who kicked five-of-six penalties against the US, retains the No.10 shirt, while Paddy Jackson starts on the bench.
The Irish had to contend with a stomach virus that went through their camp this week.
Canada is on a three-game winning streak, having defeated the US, Fiji and Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup play.
Players to watch:
For Canada: Jebb Sinclair, although playing at lock for his country, will draw on the experience he gained in playing Super Rugby for the Stormers as a loose forward last year and then being part of the Currie Cup-winning Western Province team in South Africa. Phil Mack will play a crucial role with his experience as Canada's Sevens captain.
For Ireland: They also have a South African connection - Richardt Strauss, the cousin of Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss. He will have to pride the spark that fire up the Irish engine room.
Head to head: It will be captain versus captain, No.8 versus No.8 - Aaron Carpenter (Canada) facing off against Peter O'Mahony (Ireland).
2009: Ireland won 25-6, Vancouver
2008: Ireland won 55-0, Limerick
2000: Canada and Ireland drew 27-all, Markham
1997: Ireland won 33-11, Dublin
1987: Ireland won 46-19, Dunedin (World Cup pool match)
Prediction: Canada will not get a chance like this often - a relatively inexperienced and depleted Ireland team on Canadian soil. The form team is Canada and they may well win - by less than 10 points.
Canada: 15 James Pritchard, 14 Matt Evans, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Harry Jones, 11 Taylor Paris, 10 Nathan Hirayama, 9 Phil Mack, 8 Aaron Carpenter (captain), 7 John Moonlight, 6 Tyler Ardron, 5 Tyler Hotson, 4 Jebb Sinclair, 3 Jason Marshall, 2 Ray Barkwill, 1 Hubert Buydens.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Hamilton, 17 Andrew Tiedemann, 18 Doug Woolridge, 19 Jon Phelan, 20 Nanyak Dala, 21 Sean White, 22 Nick Blevins, 23 Connor Braid.
Ireland: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Darren Cave, 12 James Downey, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Peter O'Mahony (captain), 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Dan Tuohy, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Mike McCarthy, 20 Chris Henry, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Paddy Jackson, 23 Robbie Henshaw.
Date: Saturday, June 15
Venue: BMO Stadium, Toronto
Kick-off: 20.00 (24.00 GMT, 01.00 Sunday, June 16 Irish time):
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referees: Nick Ricono (USA), Ed Gardner (USA)
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