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Canadian rugby team preps for Pacific Nations Cup as World Cup looms in fall

07/09/2015 05:03 EDT | Updated 07/09/2016 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Canada's preparations for the Rugby World Cup continue this week at Shawnigan Lake School on Vancouver Island.

Coach Kieran Crowley has summoned 36 players for a week-long camp ahead of the Pacific Nations Cup.

"Our aim is to get players going head-to-head to see where the fitness is with the guys," Crowley said in a statement Thursday. "We want to get things in place for the summer and moving forward."

The forwards have been in camp since Monday, with the backs joining them Wednesday.

Crowley will trim the roster and name his Pacific Nations Cup squad Monday. Canada, ranked 17th in the world, opens against No. 13 Japan on July 18 in San Jose before playing No. 12 Tonga on July 24 in Burnaby, B.C., and No. 9 Samoa on July 29 in Toronto.

All six tournament teams — No. 11 Fiji and the 16th-ranked Americans are also in the field — then wrap up play in Aug. 3 in Burnaby.

The Canadian camp roster includes such World Cup veterans as James Pritchard, Ciaran Hearn, Hubert Buydens, Aaron Carpenter, Phil Mackenzie and Tyler Hotson.

But John Moonlight, Phil Mack and Nathan Hirayama are among those missing due to Pan American Games sevens commitments.

Veterans Jamie Cudmore, Jebb Sinclair and Nanyak Dala are currently injured.

Canada will announce its 31-man World Cup roster at the end of the Pacific Nations Cup tournament. The team will then face the U.S. on Aug. 22 in Ottawa and the Glasgow Warriors on Aug. 29 in Halifax before heading to England to play warmup matches against No. 14 Georgia on Sept. 2 and Fiji on Sept. 6.

Playing in a pool with No. 3 Ireland, No. 7 France, No. 15 Italy and No. 18 Romania, Canada opens World Cup play Sept. 19.

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Canadian Camp Roster

Tyler Ardron, Ospreys (Wales), Lakefield, Ont.; Ray Barkwill, Castaway Wanderers, Niagara Falls, Ont.; Brett Beukeboom, Cornish Pirates (England), Lindsay, Ont.; Nick Blevins, Calgary Hornets, Calgary; Connor Braid, B.C. Bears, Victoria; Hubert Buydens, Castaway Wanderers, Saskatoon; Aaron Carpenter, Cornish Pirates (England), Brantford, Ont.; Thyssen de Goede, James Bay AA, Victoria; Tom Dolezel, London St. George's, London, Ont.; Matt Evans, Cornish Pirates (England), Maple Bay, B.C.; Aaron Flagg, Moseley (England), Abbotsford, B.C.; Kyle Gilmour, Rotherham Titans (England), St. Albert, Alta.; Jeff Hassler, Ospreys, Okotoks, Alta.; Ciaran Hearn, Castaway Wanderers, Conception Bay, N.L.; Tyler Hotson, Doncaster Knights (England), Vancouver; Jamie Mackenzie, Oakville Crusaders, Oakville, Ont.; Phil Mackenzie, Sale Sharks (England), Oakville, Ont.; Jason Marshall, Agen (France), North Vancouver; Gordon McRorie, Calgary Hornets, Calgary; Callum Morrison, UBC Old Boys Ravens, Victoria; Evan Olmstead, Parramatta Two Blues, Sydney, Australia; Owen Parfrey, Swilers RFC, St. John’s, N.L.; Patrick Parfrey, Swilers RFC, St. John's, N.L.; Taylor Paris, Agen (France), Barrie, Ont.; Jon Phelan, Doncaster Knights (England), Montreal; Cameron Pierce, Pau (France), Vernon, B.C.; Benoit Piffero, Blagnac (France), Montreal; James Pritchard, Bedford Blues (England), Parkes, Australia; Lucas Rumball, Balmy Beach, Toronto; Djustice Sears-Duru, Oakville Crusaders, Oakville, Ont.; Richard Thorpe, London Welsh (England), Beckenham, England; Andrew Tiedemann, Plymouth Albion (England), St. Albert, Alta.; Liam Underwood, Balmy Beach RFC, Toronto; DTH Van Der Merwe, Scarlets (Wales), Regina; Doug Wooldridge, Lindsay RFC, Lindsay, Ont.

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