Sept 3 (Reuters) - South Africa-born Canada winger DTH van der Merwe will make his fourth World Cup appearance in Japan and get the chance to play against the country of his birth for the first time.
The 33-year Van der Merwe emigrated to Canada from South Africa as a teenager and made his test debut as a 20-year-old in a qualifier for the 2007 World Cup.
He has appeared at every tournament since and accumulated 57 test caps but has never faced the Springboks, who Canada will meet in Kobe on Oct. 8.
The Canadians open their Pool B campaign against Italy in Fukuoka on Sept. 26 before meeting world champions New Zealand on Oct. 2 and finishing against Namibia on Oct. 13.
Loose forward Tyler Ardron will lead a side that includes 13 other players who have featured at a previous World Cup.
Hubert Buydens, Ciaran Hearn and Conor Trainor will be travelling to their third World Cup tournament.
“Its been a really tough selection but that’s what we wanted,” coach Kingsley Jones said in a statement.
“It’s always a challenge for coaches to find the right mix to be as competitive as possible while also looking towards the future and ensuring we are in a good position for (the World Cup in France in) 2023, and we feel we’ve achieved that.
“With only 10 months of preparation, it can of course be challenging but the group is in a good space, and have met that challenge head on.”
Canada were the last team to qualify for Japan, having won a four-team repechage tournament that also involved Germany, Hong Kong and Kenya last November.
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
Forwards - Tyler Ardron (captain), 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 (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Ken Ferris)