NAPIER, 26 Sept. – Canada head coach Kieran Crowley made two changes to the squad that took on France last Sunday when he announced his 22-man line-up to play Japan in the Pool A match at McLean Park on Tuesday.
The Canucks head into their third match of Rugby World Cup 2011 looking for a second win, and Crowley believes he has picked a side that has what it takes.
Matt Evans comes into the side for Ciaran Hearn at right wing in Canada’s first and only change to a RWC 2011 starting XV. They are the first team in RWC history to have made only one change after their first two matches of a RWC.
“Matt was named in the side when we played the USA in August but he injured himself in that one,” said Crowley.
“His recovery has been an ongoing thing. Ciaran has been playing well for us but Matt’s fully recovered now.”
The other change comes on the bench, with Jeremy Kyne replacing his Prairie Wolf Club teammate Nanyak Dala in the No.19 slot.
“Jeremy brings a ball-carrying option to the game, and again it’s not that Nanyak hasn’t been doing well. We just thought Jeremy’s skill-set is more suited to the style of play we want to play against Japan,” Crowley said.
The coach said injury clouds had cleared over several players, including DTH van der Merwe, who picked up knocks in Canada’s 46-19 defeat by France last Sunday.
“We have been managing a couple of injuries after such a short turnaround heading into that France match, but they were all back at training today and they’re all at 100 per cent again.”
Japan head into the match without a win at RWC 2011, and Crowley is confident he has picked a side that is capable of adding to the Brave Blossoms’ woes.
“We’ve got a team pattern that we want to play and there are certain areas that we will be concentrating on,” he said.
“For us it’s about having control and being accurate. Five or six handling errors is too many in Test rugby.”