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Canada wraps up November rugby tour against Romania in World Cup preview

11/20/2014 10:54 EST | Updated 01/20/2015 05:59 EST
Canada looks to bounce back from a disappointing performance against Samoa when it takes on Rugby World Cup Pool D rival Romania on Saturday in Bucharest.

Mistakes cost the 17th-ranked Canadian men in a 23-13 loss to No. 11 Samoa in Vannes, France, dropping Canada's record on its November tour of Europe to 1-2-0.

"We had a very poor first 40 minutes," Canadian coach Kieran Crowley said Thursday from Bucharest. "We had an outstanding 30-odd minutes in the second half and we had a couple of opportunities to win the game but in the end, just didn't. Very disappointed in those areas.

"There were some positives around the way we played in that good patch and in a couple of other areas as well. But we need to eliminate those mistakes and we need to have a lot better start than what we had last week."

Canada and No. 18 Romania will be joined in Pool D at the World Cup next year by No. 3 Ireland, No. 6 France and No. 14 Italy. The Canadians are scheduled to face Romania on Oct. 6 in Leicester, England.

Crowley has made three changes to his starting lineup, two of which are enforced.

Captain Tyler Ardron returns from an ankle injury to slot into No. 8 for his first appearance of the tour. Jebb Sinclair moves to blindside flanker from No. 8.

Ardron will only play 40 minutes, said Crowley.

Jon Phelan joins veteran Jamie Cudmore in the second row and Pat Parfrey comes off the bench to start at fly half. Phelan replaces Brett Buekeboom, who injured his groin against Samoa. Parfrey steps in for Connor Braid, who has returned to the Glasgow Warriors. Kyle Gilmour shifts to the bench with the return of Ardron.

Braid returning to Glasgow was one of several deals Crowley had made with clubs prior to assembling his tour squad.

Prop Hubert Buydens captained Canada in Ardron's absence for the first three games of the tour. Prior to the Samoa loss, the Canadians defeated No. 22 Namibia 17-13 and lost 28-23 to an all-star team from the second tier of English rugby.

Romania, meanwhile, is coming off losses of 27-17 to the No. 16 U.S. Eagles and 18-13 to No. 10 Japan.

Still Crowley calls the Romanians "a massive challenge," particularly in the forward pack.

"They've good a good structure here now. They've got seven professional clubs within Romania and a lot of their players play (professionally) in France."

The game at Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf offers Canada a chance to avenge a 21-20 loss last year via a penalty kick at the final whistle.

Canada's record is 1-5-0 this year after June losses to Japan, Scotland and the U.S.

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Canada

Hubert Buydens, unattached, Saskatoon; Aaron Carpenter, Cornish Pirates RFC (England), Brantford, Ont.; Jason Marshall, Hawkes Bay Magpies New Zealand), Vancouver; Jamie Cudmore, ASM Clermont Auvergne (France), Squamish, B.C.; Jon Phelan, Doncaster Knights (England), Montreal: Jebb Sinclair, London Irish (England), Fredericton; Nanyak Dala, Castaway Wanderers, Regina; Tyler Ardron (capt.), Ospreys (Wales), Lakefield, Ont.; Gordon McRorie, Calgary Hornets, Calgary; Patrick Parfrey, Swilers RFC, St. Johns, N.L.; DTH van der Merwe, Glasgow Warriors (Scotland), Regina; Ciaran Hearn, Castaway Wanderers, Conception Bay South, N.L.; Conor Trainor, UBCOB Ravens, Vancouver; Jeff Hassler, Ospreys (Wales), Okotoks, Alta.; James Pritchard, Bedford Blues (England), Parkes, Australia.

Replacements

Ray Barkwill, unattached, Niagara Falls, Ont.; Andrew Tiedemann, Plymouth Albion (England), St. Albert, Alta.; Doug Wooldridge, Lindsay RFC, Lindsay, Ont.; Kyle Gilmour, St. Albert RFC, St. Albert, Alta.; Richard Thorpe, London Welsh (England), Beckenham, England; Sean White, James Bay AA, Victoria; Jordan Wilson-Ross, James Bay AA, Alliston, Ont.; Nick Blevins, Calgary Hornets, Calgary.

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