World Cup hooker Ray Barkwill is back in the Canadian lineup for the crucial third-round Americas Rugby Championship match against the US Eagles at Swangard Stadium on Saturday evening. The 36-cap veteran forms an all-Ontario front row with Rob Brouwer and Matt Tierney in a side that shows five changes in all to the starting lineup that defeated Chile last weekend.
Brouwer and Barkwill replace Djustice Sears-Duru and Benoît Pifféro, respectively, with Eric Howard dropping out of the match day 23. Reegan O’Gorman swaps jerseys with Liam Chishom to win his first test start in what will be the youngest second row pairing in Canadian test history, both just 20 years old. Matt Beukeboom is left out after taking a knock last weekend and his spot on the bench goes to uncapped Argentinean Lucas Albornoz, who plays his club rugby for local side Burnaby Lake.
The new halfbacks are Phil Mack and Robbie Povey after the duo made a positive impression as impact subs in Langford. Povey earns his first test start while Mack makes wears the no9 shirt for just the second time since the World Cup after making his return on the November tour to Europe. Last week’s pair of Gordon McRorie and Gradyn Bowd are both in the bench.
1 Rob Brouwer, 2 Ray Barkwill (capt.), 3 Matt Tierney, 4 Conor Keys, 5 Reegan O’Gorman, 6 Lucas Rumball, 7 Ollie Nott, 8 Admir Cejvanovic, 9 Phil Mack, 10 Robbie Povey, 11 Taylor Paris, 12 Guiseppe du Toit, 13 Nick Blevins, 14 Dan Moor, 15 Brock Staller
Replacements: 16 Benoît Pifféro, 17 Djustice Sears-Duru, 18 Cole Keith, 19 Liam Chisholm, 20 Lucas Albornoz, 21 Gordon McRorie, 22 Gradyn Bowd, 23 George Barton