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Veteran scrum half Phil Mack to lead Canadian rugby team on European tour

Canada's Phil Mack, left, avoids a tackle from Mike Te'o of USA during a 2019 Rugby World Cup Qualifier at Tim Horton's Field in Hamilton, Ont., on June 24, 2017. Veteran scrum half Phil Mack will captain Canada for its November rugby test matches. The 32-year-old from Victoria has spent more than decade with the Canadian sevens and 15s squads. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael P. Hall
October 30, 2017 - 2:58 PM

TORONTO - Veteran scrum half Phil Mack will captain Canada for its November rugby test matches.

The 32-year-old from Victoria has spent more than decade with the Canadian sevens and 15s squads.

The Canadian men, ranked 24th in the world, host the Maori All Blacks on Friday in Vancouver before heading to Europe to face No. 12 Georgia on Nov. 11 in Tbilisi, No. 19 Spain on Nov. 18 in Madrid and No. 9 Fiji on Nov. 25 in France.

"It's a big honour obviously, any time you play for your country is a big deal," Mack said in a statement. "To be asked to lead the team is something I don't take lightly, just looking forward to it."

Mack, who made his 15s debut against Ireland in 2009, has won 41 caps for Canada.

New coach Kingsley Jones, who said Mack would start Friday but might not get the nod in every other game on the tour, said the veteran back deserved the honour.

"This guy has given a lot to Canadian rugby, both sevens and 15s," Jones said. "He leads by example and I know that he has the respect of all the players and coaches, whether they are playing overseas, whether they are local, whether they are from the East or the West. For me he is a natural leader and I look forward to working with him."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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