Sept 11 (Reuters) - Factbox on the Canada squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan, where they will compete in Pool B:
World ranking: 22
Canada head to the World Cup with the stated goal of winning every game but concede that is not going to happen playing in a Pool with three-time champions New Zealand, twice champions South Africa, Italy and Namibia.
Having qualified for every World Cup Canada achieved their best result in 1991 advancing to the quarterfinals but are unlikely to come close to matching or bettering that performance in Japan 2019 where they will be hard pressed to simply get out of the group.
“Obviously you want to win every game but that’s not going to be the case, so we just want to prepare ourselves as good as possible and get on the field and put on a strong performance,” Canadian wing Daniel Tailliferre Hauman van der Merwe told Reuters. “We had some really good battles at past World Cups with teams like France, Italy and sometimes you catch them on an off day.
“Hopefully we’ll get one of those days at this World Cup and we play our perfect game because that’s what we will need to do to win these games.”
Only 23rd ranked Namibia would seem to be a contest the 22nd ranked Canadians can realistically target as a possible win in all their other fixtures will require some good fortune and luck.
Kingsley Jones (Wales)
The last team to qualify for the World Cup, Canada coach Kingsley Jones says his team is “behind the eight ball” and playing catchup as they prepare for Japan.
Certainly the former Welsh international flanker knows what awaits having taken on the role of national teams director of Russian rugby ahead of the 2011 World Cup and later became head coach.
Russia did not win a game in New Zealand going 0-4 leaving Jones still in search of a maiden win.
DTH van der Merwe
Poised to appear in his fourth World Cup for Canada Daniel Tailliferre Hauman (DTH) van der Merwe will be counted on to provide points and leadership for a young squad with some what he describes as “fiery characters”.
One of the few members of the Canadian squad playing top flight rugby in Europe with the Glasgow Warriors in the Pro14, the 33-year-old wing has been a reliable point producer throughout his career, which includes more than 50 caps for Canada.
“I have a bit of experience, my first game for Canada was in 2006 so I hopefully bring some confidence to the squad,” said Van der Merwe. “We have some really fiery characters on the squad which is good, guys with a lot of flair who are not afraid to try things.
“I’d like to maybe bring a bit of calmness.”
Captain: Tyler Ardron
Forwards - Tyler Ardron, Kyle Baillie, Justin Blanchet, Hubert Buydens, Luke Campbell, Matt Heaton, Eric Howard, Jake Ilnicki, Cole Keith, Conor Keys, Evan Olmstead, Benoit Piffero, Andrew Quattrin, Lucas Rumball, Djustice Sears-Duru, Mike Sheppard, Matthew Tierney
Backs - Nick Blevins, Andrew Coe, Jeff Hassler, Ciaran Hearn, Ben LeSage, Phil Mack, Jamie Mackenzie, Gordon McRorie, Peter Nelson, Shane O’Leary, Patrick Parfrey, Taylor Paris, Conor Trainor, DTH van der Merwe
W - 7, L - 20, D - 2
Last World Cup: Pool stage (2015)
Best finish: Quarter-finals (1991)
Sept 26 Italy v Canada Fukuoka
Oct 2 New Zealand v Canada Oita
Oct 8 South Africa v Canada Kobe
Oct 13 Namibia v Canada Kamaishi
Feb 2 Uruguay 20-17 Canada
Feb 9 Brazil 18-10 Canada
Feb 22 Canada 56-0 Chile
Mar 8 U.S. 30-25 Canada
Jul 27 U.S. 47-19 Canada
Aug 3 Fiji 38-13 Canada
Aug 9 Canada 23-33 Tonga
Sep 7 Canada 15-20 U.S. (Compiled by Hardik Vyas and Steve Keating, editing by Sudipto Ganguly)