SPORTS

Injured Canadian captain Aaron Carpenter to miss European rugby tour

11/04/2013 04:10 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
TORONTO - Canada will be without captain Aaron Carpenter for its European rugby tour.

The No. 8 from Brantford, Ont., has been sidelined by an upper body injury sustained in Canada's 40-15 loss to the Maori All Blacks on Sunday in Toronto. It was his 55th cap for Canada.

"Gutted about getting injured gonna miss my first November test series," the 30-year-old Carpenter tweeted. "A few weeks of rest and ill be back to normal."

On the plus side, European-based pros Jebb Sinclair, James Pritchard, Brett Beukeboom, Phil Mackenzie and Tyler Hotson are set to meet 14th-ranked Canada in Tbilisi on Wednesday for Saturday's game against No. 16-ranked Georgia.

The Canadian team was slated to fly out of Toronto on Monday.

The tour also includes test matches against No. 17 Romania on Nov. 16 and No. 22 Portugal on Nov. 23.

Canada will still be missing DTH van der Merwe, Jamie Cudmore, Jason Marshall, Sean Duke, Tom Dolezel and Nathan Hirayama due to injury and club or other commitments.

Carpenter's absence has had a ripple effect on the Canadian squad since the captain also serves as cover for Ray Barkwill at hooker given Ryan Hamilton is out injured.

Canadian coach Kieran Crowley has called up Benoit Pifferio for help at hooker. Prop Djustice Sears-Duru has also been added to the touring squad.

Mike Scholz and Pat Parfrey miss out on the tour to join the developmental Maple Leafs sevens team slated to play in the North American Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) tournament in the Cayman Islands this weekend.

Canada's schedule leaves little time to prepare for the test match against Georgia, which is expected to field a bruising, physical side.

"It will all be about recovery, because we now don't get to Georgia until Wednesday and we've only got two days to turn around and play a team that's pretty damn strong," Crowley said after the Maori loss.

Crowley plans to rest some of his sevens players for the final tour match against Portugal, so as not to wear them out in advance of the Nov. 29-30 Dubai Sevens.

It's made for a gruelling fall schedule for Canada and Crowley, who does not expect to get back to his Victoria home until early December.

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Canada

Tyler Ardron, Ospreys (Wales) Lakefield, Ont.; Ray Barkwill, Niagara Wasps, Niagara Falls, Ont.; Brett Buekeboom, Plymouth Albion (England), Lindsay, Ont.; Nick Blevins, Calgary Hornets, Calgary; Hubert Buydens, Manawatu Turbos (New Zealand), Saskatoon; Nanyak Dala, Castaway Wanderers, Saskatoon; Matt Evans, Cornish Pirates (England), Maple Bay, B.C.; Jeff Hassler, Ospreys (Wales), Okotoks, Alta.; Ciaran Hearn, Castaway Wanderers, Conception Bay, N.L.; Tyler Hotson, London Scottish (England), Vancouver; Jake Ilnicki, Williams Lake Rustlers, Williams Lake, B.C.; Harry Jones, Capilano RFC, West Vancouver; Adam Kleeberger, Castaway Wanderers, White Rock, B,C.; Phil Mack, UVIC Vikes, Victoria; Jamie Mackenzie, UVIC Vikes, Oakville, Ont.; Phil Mackenzie, Sale Sharks (England), Oakville, Ont.; Ryan March, Abbotsford RFC, Abbotsford, B.C.; John Moonlight, James Bay AA, Pickering, Ont.; Jon Phelan, Lille Metropole (France), Montreal; Benoit Piffero, Burnaby Lake RFC, Montreal; James Pritchard, Bedford Blues (England) Parkes, Australia; Djustice Sears-Duru, Castaway Wanderers, Oakville, Ont.; Jebb Sinclair, London Irish (England), Fredericton; Andrew Tiedemann, Castaway Wanderers, St. Albert, Alta.; Conor Trainor, UBCOB Ravens, Vancouver; Liam Underwood, Queen's University, Toronto.

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