Canucks pick up the pace

Canada head coach Ric Suggitt on Sunday moved to counter Japan’s pace threat by shuffling his forward pack for the Pool B match at the Chaban Delmas Stadium, Bordeaux, on Tuesday.

Suggitt changed his entire back row, with flankers Colin Yukes and Adam Kleeberger joining number eight Aaron Carpenter as new editions to the team.

The bench also has four changes from the 22 that lost to Fiji last week with Scott Franklin, Mike Webb, Josh Jackson and Justin Mensah-Coker coming in.

“We realise they are very quick and play with a lot of tempo in the game and we have some fresh legs in the back row, putting Carpenter back there and Kleeburger and Yukes,” Suggitt said.

“Hopefully we can take away some of their strength.”

In picking his starting line-up, Suggitt said he was also mindful Canada could expect a physical contest against Australia on Saturday.

Against Japan, the winless Canadians will start with the same tight five who faced Fiji in Cardiff last weekend.

“We have a big tight five and nice balance with a quick and speedy back row,” Suggitt said.

The match against Japan represents Canada’s best chance to secure a win in their two remaining fixtures. Canada have never gone winless at the World Cup and Suggitt said the players are aware of this.

“I don’t think it will be difficult to get the players motivated. The players have a lot of pride and they know in the record books that Canada has come away with at least one victory,” he said.

“They are well aware of that but we do not want to put too much external pressure on them and say they have to win the game.”

Canada’s captain Morgan Williams hopes they can compete for the full 80 minutes this time.

Against Wales they led at the break but faded in the second half, while a sound second-half effort against Fiji wasn’t enough to make up for a poor first half.

“If we took the first half against Wales and the second half against Fiji then we will be OK,” he said.

Canada: 15 Mike Pyke, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Craig Culpan, 12 Dave Spicer, 11 James Pritchard, 10 Ryan Smith, 9 Morgan Williams (c), 8 Aaron Carpenter, 7 Adam Kleeberger, 6 Colin Yukes, 5 Mike James, 4 Mike Burak, 3 Jon Thiel, 2 Pat Riordan, 1 Rod Snow.
Replacements: 16 Mike Pletch, 17 Dan Pletch, 18 Scott Franklin, 19 Josh Jackson, 20 Mike Webb, 21 Ed Fairhurst, 22 Justin Mensah-Coker.

Date: Tuesday, 25 September
Venue: Chaban Delmas Stadium, Bordeaux
Kick-off: 18.00 (16.00 GMT)

 

365 Digital

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