The team is captained by talented forward Tyler Ardron who plays professionally in New Zealand with the Chiefs while veteran, and prolific try-scoring winger DTH van der Merwe, who plays professionally for Glasgow Warriors in the Pro14, will be making his fourth appearance at a Rugby World Cup. Van der Merwe is originally from Worcester in the Western Cape.
In all, the squad features 17 forwards and 14 backs.
No. 21 ranked Canada was the final nation to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with wins over Kenya, Germany, and Hong Kong in a 4-team repechage tournament that took place in November 2018 in Marseille, France.
Canada have participated in every Rugby World Cup since the tournament began in 1987, with their highest finish coming in the 1991 Rugby World Cup where they reached the quarterfinals. Canada and Japan are the only Tier 2 rugby nations to have taken part in every edition of the Rugby World Cup.
Canada, who have been drawn in Pool B, will get underway on Thursday, September 26th in Fukuoka City against No. 13 ranked Italy.
They will go on to play No. 1 ranked and defending RWC Champions New Zealand on Wednesday, October 2nd; then No. 5 ranked South Africa on Tuesday, October 8th, and then wrap up their Pool play on Sunday October 13th against No. 23 ranked Namibia.
Jones was pleased with his final group.
“It’s been a really tough selection but that’s what we wanted. The players made it difficult for us due to their commitment, and efforts over the last 18 months. I’d like to sincerely thank them all,” he said.
“It’s always a challenge for coaches to find the right mix to be competitive as possible while also looking towards the future and ensuring we are in good position for 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.
“Looking forward,” continued Jones, “there’s been a huge improvement and emphasis on development in the under-20 group and we saw the emergence of some really impressive young talent who will stay on our radar. We’re heading in the right direction not only for this World Cup but looking on to next one, particularly with the pool of young guys we’ve got coming through the age grade systems and sevens program.
Canada’s 2019 Rugby World Cup Roster:
Tyler Ardron (c, Chiefs)
Kyle Baillie (New Orleans Gold)
Justin Blanchet (Unattached)
Nick Blevins (Calgary Hornets)
Hubert Buydens (Unattached)
Luke Campbell (Toronto Arrows / JBAA)
Andrew Coe (Markham Irish)
Jeff Hassler (Seattle Seawolves)
Ciaran Hearn (Unattached)
Matt Heaton (Rugby ATL)
Eric Howard (New Orleans Gold)
Jake Ilnicki (Seattle Seawolves)
Cole Keith (Toronto Arrows)
Conor Keys (Unattached)
Ben LeSage (Calgary Canucks)
Phil Mack (Seattle Seawolves)
Jamie Mackenzie (Toronto Arrows)
Gordon McRorie (Calgary Hornets)
Peter Nelson (Unattached)
Shane O'Leary (Nottingham Rugby)
Evan Olmstead (Unattached)
Patrick Parfrey (Toronto Arrows)
Taylor Paris (Castres Olympiques)
Benoit Piffero (Blagnac SCR)
Andrew Quattrin (Toronto Arrows)
Lucas Rumball (Toronto Arrows)
Djustice Sears-Duru (Seattle Seawolves)
Mike Sheppard (Toronto Arrows)
Matthew Tierney (Castres Olympiques)
Conor Trainor (USON Nevers)
DTH van der Merwe (Glasgow Warriors)