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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007, 10:36 GMT 11:36 UK
Canada RWC team guide
A one-stop guide to all you need to know about Canada for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Fixtures (Pool B):

  • v Wales - 9 September, 1300 BST, Nantes
  • v Fiji - 16 September, 1300 BST, Cardiff
  • v Japan - 25 September, 1700 BST, Bordeaux
  • v Australia - 29 September, 1400 BST, Bordeaux

    Recent form: Comfortably beat Barbados (69-3) and USA (56-7) to qualify, but lost 61-26 to Wales and 41-6 to Ireland last autumn. Since thrashed USA again, 52-10, and lost to the NZ Maori (59-23) and New Zealand (64-13) recently.

    Coach: Ric Suggitt, a full-back in his playing days, coached the Canada women's team and men's Sevens side before succeeding Dave Clark in 2004. Brought in better coaches and video analysis to try to invigorate Canada's domestic game.

    Captain: Scrum-half Morgan Williams, 31, should know his way around France. He has played for three different clubs in the Top 14 - Begles-Bordeaux, Stade Francais twice - either side of a spell in England with Saracens - and now Albi. Two tries against France at 1999 World Cup; this will be his third.

    World Cup pedigree: Participated at every tournament since its inception but only progressed beyond the pool stages once, reaching the quarter-finals in 1991.

    World Cup high: Beating Fiji 13-3 and Romania 19-11 to reach the last eight in 1991, where they lost to the All Blacks by the respectable margin of 29-13.

    World Cup low: Having two players - Rod Snow and Gareth Rees - sent off against South Africa in 1995. Losing 38-22 to Fiji in 1999 when in with another chance of the last eight.

    World Cup legend: Gareth Rees, a prolific kicker who played fly-half or full-back, was the only player to appear in all the first four World Cups, from 1987 to 1999. Inspirational back-row Al Charron also played in four - from 1991 to 2003.

    Present star: Sydney-born James Pritchard plays for Bedford in England's National League One, but is likely to be Canada's chief source of points. The former rugby league player set a new Canada record of 36 points (three tries, six conversions and three penalties) in their qualifying win over the USA.

    Maverick: Kevin Tkachuk was a big name in gridiron and wrestling in Saskatchewan before switching to rugby. Studied history at Oxford University, playing three times in the Varsity match, and at the 2003 World Cup. A popular character in Glasgow, where he has been with the Warriors since 2004.

    Enforcer: Jamie Cudmore may be known as "Cuddles" by his team-mates, but it is not for the way he wraps himself around opponents. The combative lock, who took up rugby after dabbling with athletics and skiing, has played for Llanelli Scarlets, Grenoble and currently with Clermont Auvergne.

    Strengths: An experienced pack, with Tkachuk and 37-year-old Rod Snow in the front row and Cudmore and Mike James in the engine room, make life difficult for any opposition. Pritchard's goalkicking is usually a reliable source of points.

    Weaknesses: Despite some promising youngsters such as France-based duo Mike Pyke and Justin Mensah-Coker in the back three, struggle to score tries against the major nations. Will also miss number eight Phil Murphy, who made himself unavailable to concentrate on playing for London Irish.

    Did you know? Canada centre Ryan Smith, who plays in France with Montauban, has a golf handicap of four.

    They say: "Us being competitive against Wales and Australia would be a success. We are definitely setting out to beat Japan and Fiji. To qualify for the next round is something no-one would ever expect from us. That's our immediate goal."

    World Cup base: Bordeaux (from 2 September)

    You say: "Canada have shown excellent progress in their preparations and with Wales struggling could upset them."
    claytorj on 606

    World ranking: 13

    Odds: 500/1

    Our verdict: Unlikely to give Wales or Australia too much trouble, but will fancy their chances against Fiji and Japan. So third place is a realistic possibility, but no more.

    Ranking and odds correct at 26 August. Odds supplied by William Hill.



  • SEE ALSO
    Snow and Thiel return for Canada
    21 Aug 07 |  Rugby Union
    Rugby union positions guide
    05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment
    Country profile: Canada
    25 May 07 |  Country profiles


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