Three changes for Canada against Romania
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Canada head coach Mark Anscombe has made three changes to his starting XV which is going to take on Romania on Saturday.
Ben Lesage will make his test debut at inside centre while Admir Cejvanovic and Matt Heaton make their first test starts for Canada. While DTH van der Merwe has been given the captain's armband.
Anscombe has made no changes up front as Djustice Sears-Duru, Ray Barkwill and Jake Ilnicki occupy the front row with Brett Beukeboom and Evan Olmstead starting at lock. Heaton joins Kyle Baillie at flank while Cejvanovic, who made his test debut off the bench against Ireland, replaces the injured Aaron Carpenter at No.8.
Gordon McRorie, who nailed all three conversions against Ireland, starts at scrumhalf with Connor Braid getting his second consecutive start at flyhalf. Taylor Paris and van der Merwe maintain their spots on the wing while Conor Trainor is joined by Ben Lesage at centre as the Calgary native will earn his first test cap Saturday. Matt Evans maintains his place at fullback.
Lesage was with Canada during their prevoius Series but failed to make his test debut during the three-match series. He was part of the Canada A tour to the UK as well as playing in the Americas Pacific Challenge last month where he scored four tries in just three games.
There’s also the opportunity for Conor Keys to make his test debut as he is named as a replacement.
Saturday’s match is a rematch from last year’s Rugby World Cup where Romania came back from a 0-15 deficit to sneak past Canada 17-15.
Canada is 2-4 all-time against Romania with their last victory coming at the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Romania has won the past four matchups.
Canada: 15 Matt Evans, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Conor Trainor, 12 Ben Lesage, 11 Taylor Paris, 10 Connor Braid, 9 Gordon McRorie, 8 Admir Cejvanovic, 7 Matt Heaton, 6 Kyle Baillie, 5 Evan Olmstead, 4 Brett Beukeboom, 3 Jake Ilnicki, 2 Ray Barkwill, 1 Djustice Sears-Duru.
Replacements: 16 Eric Howard, 17 Rob Brouwer, 18 Ryan Kotlewski, 19 Conor Keys, 20 Clay Panga,21 Phil Mack, 22 Pat Parfrey, 23 Ciaran Hearn.
Date: Saturday, November 19
Venue: Stadionul Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest
Kick-off: 18.00 ( 16.00 GMT; 11.00 Canada time)
Referee: Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce (England), Gary Conway (Ireland)
TMO: Stefano Pennè (Italy)