Scotland looks to debutants for rugby test match in Ottawa against Canada men | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Scotland looks to debutants for rugby test match in Ottawa against Canada men

Canada's Lucas Rumball (7) scores a try during the second half of men's 15s international rugby action against Spain in Ottawa, on Sunday, July 10, 2022. Flanker Rumball will lead a Canada team drawn almost entirely from Major League Rugby sides on Saturday against sixth-ranked Scotland.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Original Publication Date July 03, 2024 - 9:01 AM

Saturday's rugby test match between Canada and Scotland could see as many as 16 players make their international debut.

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has included 10 uncapped players in his matchday 23 while six Canadians could make their debut at TD Place in Ottawa.

Uncapped centre Matt Currie (Edinburgh Rugby), wing Arron Reed and scrum half Gus Warr (Sale Sharks) and lock Max Williamson and flanker Gregor Brown (Glasgow Warriors) have all been named in the Scottish starting 15.

The Scottish bench features debutants in Northampton hooker Robbie Smith, Glasgow Warriors prop Nathan McBeth, Leicester Tigers prop Will Hurd, Oyannax lock Ewan Johnson and Edinburgh winger Ross McCann.

Glasgow Warriors prop Rory Sutherland is the only Scottish starter with double-digit caps at 30. The other 14 starters have a combined 28 caps.

"They're still quality players, playing in high(-level) leagues around the world," said Canada captain Lucas Rumball. "From a player's perspective, they're going to be physical, they're going to be fast. It's probably going to be a step up for some guys on what they're used to, in terms of the speed of the game and the physicality of the game. But I think it's a good test for us to see if we can match it."

Scottish players left at home to rest include star fly half Finn Russell as well as Ben White, Ali Price, Blair Kinghorn, Darcy Graham, Richie Gray, Zander Fagerson, Jack Dempsey, Hamish Watson, Grant Gilchrist and Sam Skinner.

The tour roster features seven starters, including British and Irish Lions winger Duhan van der Merwe, as well as six of the bench players from Scotland's Six Nations finale against Ireland in March.

"There are some good names, good experienced players in that team," said Canada coach Kingsley Jones. "So we expect a tough challenge."

Australian-born winger Nic Benn, a former Toronto Arrow and current Dallas Jackal who spent part of his childhood in B.C. and qualifies for Canada via his Canadian-born mother, earns his first cap for Canada.

Five others — Vancouver Highlander twins Takoda and Talon McMullin, Dallas Jackals scrum half Brock Gallagher and the Pacific Pride development academy's James Stockwood and Jesse Mackail, could earn their first caps off the bench, one of whom could become the 500th men’s player to take to the pitch for Canada.

Canada's matchday 23 features 15 Major League Rugby players including 12 starters. The starting 15 contains four members of the MLR champion New England Free Jacks with another on the bench.

Rumball is one of three Chicago Hounds in the matchday squad. There are also four players from the Dallas Jackals, two from RFC Los Angeles and one from the San Diego Legion.

The three starters outside of the MLR are No. 8 Siaki Vikilani (who plays in New Zealand for Clifton Rugby Club), fly half Peter Nelson (Dungannon RFC, Northern Ireland) and fullback Cooper Coats (Canada sevens team)

Saturday's game is the first for Canada on home soil since a 57-34 win over No. 19 Spain in Ottawa in July 2022.

The Canadian men have gone 2-3-0 since with wins over the 27th-ranked Netherlands and No. 29 Brazil.

Canada and Scotland last met in Edmonton in June 2018, with Scotland winning 48-10. Rumball, Ben LeSage, Djustice Sears-Duru, Cole Keith and Conor Keys, members of Saturday's squad, all took part in that match.

The Canadian men face No. 20 Romania at TD Place in Ottawa on July 12 before travelling to the United States and Japan to open Pacific Nations Cup play in August.

After Canada, touring Scotland faces the 17th-ranked U.S., No. 23 Chile and No. 18 Uruguay.

Scotland finished fourth in this year's Six Nations tournament at 2-3-0 with wins over No. 6 Wales (27-26) and No. 5 England (30-21). But Scottish rugby has been since buoyed by the Glasgow Warriors' 16-13 win over South Africa's Bulls in last month's United Rugby Championship final.

Canada and Scotland are competing for the Douglas JL Horn Memorial Cup, which was first played for in 2008. The cup was sponsored by the late Alan Horn, who named the trophy after his father and former Scottish rugby player, Douglas Horn.

The two teams have contested the trophy since 2008.

Canada Roster (x- denotes uncapped player)

Liam Murray, Langley, B.C., Dallas Jackals (MLR); Andrew Quattrin, Holland Landing, Ont., New England Free Jacks (MLR); Conor Young, Yamba, Australia, RFC Los Angeles (MLR); Conor Keys, Stittsville, Ont., New England Free Jacks (MLR); Kyle Baillie, Summerside, P.E.I., New England Free Jacks (MLR); Mason Flesch, Cobourg, Ont., Chicago Hounds (MLR); Lucas Rumball, Toronto, Chicago Hounds (MLR); Siaki Vikilani, Vancouver, Clifton Rugby Club (New Zealand); Jason Higgins, Cork, Ireland, Chicago Hounds (MLR); Peter Nelson, Dungannon, Northern Ireland, Dungannon RFC (Northern Ireland); x-Nic Benn, Caves Beach, Australia, Dallas Jackals (MLR); Ben LeSage, Calgary, New England Free Jacks (MLR); Mitch Richardson, Stoney Creek, Ont., Dallas Jackals (MLR); Andrew Coe, Markham, Ont., RFC Los Angeles (MLR); Cooper Coats, Halifax, Halifax Tars.

Replacements

x-Jesse Mackail. Palmerston North, New Zealand, Pacific Pride; Djustice Sears-Duru, Oakville, Ont., San Diego Legion (MLR); Cole Keith, Apohaqui, N.B. New England Free Jacks (MLR); x-James Stockwood, Bowmanville, Ont., Pacific Pride; Siôn Parry, Cardiff, Wales, Ebbw Vale RFC (Wales); x-Brock Gallagher, Edmonton, Dallas Jackals (MLR); x-Talon McMullin, White Rock, B.C., Vancouver Highlanders; x-Takoda McMullin, White Rock, B.C., Vancouver Highlanders.

Scotland Roster

Rory Sutherland, Glasgow Warriors (Scotland); Dylan Richardson, Sharks (South Africa); Elliot Millar Mills, Northampton Saints (England); x-Max Williamson, Glasgow Warriors (Scotland); Glen Young, Edinburgh Rugby (Scotland); x-Gregor Brown, Glasgow Warriors (Scotland); Luke Crosbie (co-capt.), Edinburgh Rugby (Scotland); Josh Bayliss, Bath Rugby (England); x-Gus Warr, Sale Sharks (England); Ross Thompson, Edinburgh Rugby (Scotland); x-Arron Reed, Sale Sharks (England); Stafford McDowall (co-capt.) Glasgow Warriors (Scotland); x-Matt Currie, Edinburgh Rugby (Scotland); Jamie Dobie, Glasgow Warriors (Scotland); Harry Paterson, Edinburgh Rugby (Scotland).

Replacements

x-Robbie Smith, Northampton Saints (England); x-Nathan McBeth, Glasgow Warriors (Scotland); x-Will Hurd, Leicester Tigers (England); x-Ewan Johnson, Oyonnax (France); Matt Fagerson, Glasgow Warriors (Scotland); Ben Healy, Edinburgh Rugby (Scotland); Kyle Steyn, Glasgow Warriors (Scotland); x-Ross McCann, Edinburgh Rugby (Scotland).

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 3, 2024.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2024
The Canadian Press

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