Canada rugby coach Kingsley Jones names 36-man roster ahead of European test matches

Canada rugby coach Kingsley Jones has named a 36-man long list ahead of selection for test matches in Europe later this month against the Netherlands and Namibia.

The 23rd-ranked Canadians take on the 28th-ranked Dutch on Nov. 12 before facing No. 24 Namibia on Nov. 19. Both games are at National Rugby Center Amsterdam.

Twenty-nine players have assembled in the Netherlands with four sevens players slated to join them after the weekend Hong Kong Sevens. Several others were preparing to travel from Canada.

The European games are the first for the full Canadian senior side since July when it blanked No. 26 Belgium 45-0 in Halifax and lost 57-34 to No. 15 Spain in Ottawa. Jones took a developmental side to Brazil last month for the Americas Rugby Trophy where Canada 'A' lost 36-25 to Chile XV and beat Brazil 'A' 31-14.

"The whole team is very excited to get back to playing test match rugby again," Jones said in a statement. "We had positive performances from players in Brazil during the Americas Rugby Trophy competition. Those games allowed us to get our young talent some international experience while also giving them valuable playing time alongside some of our more experienced players."

Jones will finalize his 32-man squad next week from which he will select his match-day rosters for the games against the Netherlands and Namibia.

Veterans on the long list include Ben LeSage, Lucas Rumball, Kyle Baillie, Conor Keys, Djustice Sears-Duru and Shane O'Leary.

Prop Kyle Steeves and backrowers Matthew Klimchuk and Owain Ruttan make the long list after impressing at the tournament in Brazil.

Canada Long List

Alex Russell, Chichester, England, McGill University/Canada sevens; Andrew Coe, Markham, Ont., Rugby New York (MLR); Andrew Quattrin, Holland Landing, Ont., New England Free Jacks (MLR); Ben LeSage, Calgary, Calgary Canucks; Brock Webster, Uxbridge, Ont., Oshawa Vikings/Canada sevens; Callum Botcher, Vancouver, Canada sevens; Conor Keys, Stittsville, Ont., New England Free Jacks (MLR); Conor Young, Yamba, Australia, New England Free Jacks (MLR); Cooper Coats, Halifax, Halifax Tars/Canada sevens; Corey Thomas, Broome, Australia, unattached; D'Shawn Bowen, Toronto, Canada sevens; David Richard, Milton, Ont., Mississauga Blues/Canada sevens; Dawson Fatoric, Ottawa, Canada sevens; Djustice Sears-Duru, Oakville, Ont., unattached; Foster Dewitt, Courtenay, B.C., New England Free Jacks (MLR); Gradyn Bowd, Red Deer, Alta., Castaway Wanderers/Old Glory DC (MLR); Jason Higgins, Cork, Ireland, San Diego Legion (MLR); Josh Larsen, Nanaimo, B.C., New England Free Jacks (MLR); Josh Thiel, Victoria, James Bay AA/Canada sevens; Josiah Morra, Toronto, Canada sevens; Kainoa Lloyd, Mississauga, Ont., unattached; Kyle Baillie, Summerside, P.E.I., Halifax Tars; Kyle Steeves, Winnipeg, Manitoba Wombats/Pacific Pride; Liam Murray, Langley, B.C., Dallas Jackals (MLR); Lindsey Stevens, Sydney, Australia, Eastern Suburbs RUFC; Lucas Rumball, Scarborough, Ont., Toronto Arrows (MLR); Luke Campbell, Victoria, Old Glory DC (MLR); Matthew Klimchuk, Regina, Regina Rogues/UVIC; Owain Ruttan, Cobourg, Ont., Toronto Arrows (MLR); Peter Nelson, Dungannon, Northern Ireland, Stade Aurillacois (France); Piers Von Dadelszen, Vancouver, Oxford University; Robert Povey, Oxford, England, Houston Sabercats (MLR); Ross Braude, Pretoria, South Africa, Toronto Arrows (MLR); Shane O'Leary, Ballina, Ireland, Killaloe RFC/Scariff RFC; Siaki Vikilani, Burnaby, B.C., Toronto Arrows (MLR); Tyler Rowland, Mississauga, Ont., Toronto Arrows (MLR).

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 2, 2022

The Canadian Press