After Rugby World Cup qualifying loss, Canada looks to rebound against the U.S.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Star winger DTH van der Merwe is set to win his 50th cap Saturday when Canada takes on the U.S. in the Americas Rugby Championship.

Van der Merwe, who made his debut against Barbados in 2006, is Canada’s all-time try-scorer with 31.

Canada, ranked 21st in the world, is coming off a 32-31 loss to 18th-ranked Uruguay in Montevideo last weekend. That consigned the Canadian men to one final shot at qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup at a repechage tournament in November.

The Canadians lost the two-game aggregate series against Uruguay by a 70-60 margin.

The 17th-ranked Americans defeated Canada last summer in its first attempt to qualify for the World Cup.

Canada has not beaten the U.S. since 2013 but holds a 38-18-2 edge in the overall series.

Canadian coach Kingley Jones has made six changes to his starting lineup with Djustice Sears-Duru, Josh Larsen, Kyle Baillie and Luke Campbell, earning his first cap, drawing into the forward pack. Guiseppe du Toit and Pat Parfrey come into the backline.

Martial Lagain and Cole Davis could earn their first caps off the bench.

After the U.S. matchup, Canada hosts No. 25 Brazil at Westhills Stadium in Langford, B.C., on Feb. 17 in the third game of the ARC.

Canada Roster

Djustice Sears-Duru, Ealing Trailfinders (England), Oakville, Ont.; Ray Barkwill, Seattle Seawolves (U.S.), Niagara Falls, Ont.; Jake Ilnicki, Newcastle Falcons (England), Williams Lake, B.C.; Josh Larsen, Northland (New Zealand), Parksville, B.C.; Kyle Baillie, London Scottish (England), Summerside, P.E.I.; Lucas Rumball, Balmy Beach RFC, Mississauga, Ont.; Matt Heaton, Darlington Mowden Park (England), Godmanchester, Que.; Luke Campbell, James Bay AA, Victoria; Phil Mack (capt.), James Bay, Victoria; Shane O’Leary, Ealing Trailfinders (England), Cork, Ireland; DTH van der Merwe, Newcastle Falcons (England), Victoria; Nick Blevins, Calgary Hornets, Calgary; Guiseppe du Toit, UVIC Vikes, Maple Ridge, B.C.; Brock Staller, Meralomas RFC, Surrey, B.C.; Patrick Parfrey, Swilers RFC, St. John’s, N.L.

Replacements

Martial Lagain, Sherbrooke Abenakis, Saint-Jean-de-Marsacq, France; Anthony Luca, Burnaby Lake RFC, Burnaby, B.C.; Cole Keith, James Bay AA, Sussex, N.B.; Conor Keys, UVIC Vikes, Stittsville, Ont.; Dustin Dobravsky, Castaway Wanderers, Hanover, Germany; Gordon McRorie, Calgary Hornets, Calgary; Robbie Povey, Castaway Wanderers, Northampton, England; Cole Davis, Calgary Saints, Calgary.

Just Posted

Biathlon women sweep the podium for second time

Biathlon women took top four spots in Thursday’s 10-km race

Red Deer firefighter is recovering, thanks community for support

Firefighters who help together, stick together. Red Deer firefighter medic Ben Barthel… Continue reading

Petroleum producers speak to Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers brings recommendations

Science fair is around the corner

Central Alberta Rotary Science Fair happens March 29 and 30.

Ponoka host to Bayer Crop Science seed innovations trade show

The company held a trade show with seed crop science industry partners at the ag event centre

Gaudreau snaps goal drought to help Flames double up Islanders 4-2

CALGARY — The drought is over for Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau’s first goal… Continue reading

Federal government set to develop code of conduct for sport in Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government is developing a code of conduct for… Continue reading

Jay Baruchel has trained the dragon, now he’s letting go with ‘The Hidden World’

TORONTO — The first time actor Jay Baruchel stepped into a recording… Continue reading

Hockey ref says AC/DC support is giving him motivation in Alzheimer’s fundraiser

Enthusiastic AC/DC fan Steve McNeil says he’s feeling inspired to push even… Continue reading

Gardening: What are you planting in 2019?

What’s new in plants for 2019? Checking catalogues, greenhouses and stores will… Continue reading

Opinion: I spy another energy hypocrite

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. The mittens provided to… Continue reading

Canada’s bobsleigh team races World Cup on Calgary home track facing closure

CALGARY — Canada’s skeleton and bobsled teams will race a World Cup… Continue reading

Most Read