2019 Rugby World Cup: Italy vs Canada Preview

Italy seeks to retain its top of the Pool B standings as they meet Canada Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka City on 26 September. Kickoff is at 16:45 (3:45 ET).

In Canada, every match of the Rugby World Cup 2019 is LIVE on TSN. In the U.S., the match may be viewed on NBC Sports Gold on-demand as part of an RWC subscription package.

Italy defeated Namibia 47-22 on 22 September, while New Zealand won 23-13 against South Africa. Italy will hope for a bonus point win to keep its hopes up for advancing to the Cup Quarterfinals or in a worst case senario, finishing third in Pool play and qualifying for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Canada will debut at the 2015 RWC and has fielded their best side in an effort to claim the win.

Canada Head Coach Kingsley Jones has selected his matchday 23 to open the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The team is proud to have played in every Rugby World Cup.

Number eight Tyler Ardron captains the side at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium. Josh Larsen, a lock, was named in the Canada starting XV. He was a last-minute replacement for Justin Blanchet, who received a concussion in the test match against USA on 7 September and was consequently ruled out of the tournament.

Veterans DTH van der Merwe and Ciaran Hearn will be taking the pitch in their fourth and third RWC respectively. For 10 players, it will be their first RWC.

Jones is missing a couple of locks with Kyle Baillie out with a knee injury and Evan Olmstead having foot issues. Taylor Paris is also out with an injury. This has provided opportunities for Josh Larsen and Conor Keys in the second row.

Canada starters will include six players who will be playing in Major League Rugby in 2020, with an additional 2019 MLR player Hubert Buydens, who is currently unattached having played for NOLA Gold. The reserves include an additonal five players from Major League Rugby.

Conor O’Shea has made nine changes and three postional changes from the teams 47-22 win over Namibia. He has rested captain Sergio Parisse, with Braan Steyn moving to No.8. Dean Budd, who was a reserve against Namibia, will captain the side. He has also rested tighthead prop Tiziano Pasquali, lock Alessandro Zanni and moved Federico Ruzza to the reserves. Wing Edoardo Padovini and center Luca Morisi are also not among the matchday 23.

Italy will have Bristol-born scrum-half Callum Braley starting at scrumhalf in place of Tito Tebaldi. Braley qualifies for the Azzurri through his maternal grandfather Franco, who hails from Sicily, making his Rugby World Cup debut for Italy against Canada. He was part of the victorious England squads at the 2013 and 2014 World Rugby U20 World Championships.

David Sisi, Sebastian Negri, Callum Braley, Giulio Braley, Michel Campagnaro will be seeing their first action in the 2019 RWC. Federico Zani and Nicolo Quaglio could also see action as reserves.


Italy: 1 Andrea Lovotti 2 Luca Bigi 3 Simone Ferrari 4 David Sisi 5 Dean Budd (C) 6 Sebastian Negri 7 Jake Polledri 8 Braam Steyn 9 Callum Braley 10 Tommaso Allan 11 Giulio Bisegni 12 Jayden Hayward 13 Michele Campagaro14 Tomasso Benvienuti 15 Matteo Minozzi 16 Federico Zani 17 Nicol Quaglio 18 Marco Riccioni 19 Federico Ruzza 20 Maxime Mbanda 21 Guglielmo Palazzani 22 Carlo Canna 23 Mattia Bellini

Canada: 1. Hubert Buydens 2. Eric Howard 3. Matt Tierney 4. Conor Keys 5. Josh Larsen 6. Michael Sheppard 7. Lucas Rumball 8. Tyler Ardron (capt.) 9. Gordon McRorie 10. Peter Nelson 11. DTH Van Der Merwe 12. Nick Blevins 13. Ben Lesage 14. Jeff Hassler 15. Patrick Parfrey 16. Benoit Piffero 17. Djustice Duru-Sears 18. Jake Ilnicki 19. Luke Campbell 20. Matt Heaton21. Jamie Mackenzie 22. Ciaran Hearn 23. Andrew Coe

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant