GOLD COAST - Canada's senior men's coach Kieran Crowley knows his team must maintain possession and create opportunities to do well against an experienced Australian Barbarians side at the Gold Coast's Skilled Park on Friday.
Given the task of Barbarians, Crowley has named a starting 15 with just one change from Canada's 27-7 win over the U.S. and while the team enjoyed that win, they know they must hold onto the ball more often against the Ba Baas.
"Our focus is we have to play the ball more," Crowley said. "We have to get more possession. We averaged 36 per cent over the two games against the U.S. and you can't go into the World Cup with that sort of possession."
Crowley's team is excited to challenge itself against an opposition of the Barbarians' caliber and said there were clear objectives to be achieved.
"They're excited about it," Crowley said. "It's not a test match, but it's pretty close. It's going to be a really good measure for us. Obviously you want to win, but a good result will be if the stuff we trained on shows in the game and if we're able to construct some chances."
The one change to the starting lineup sees veteran centre Ryan Smith brought from the bench to inside, in place of youngster Mike Scholz, who has a minor shoulder complaint.
The forward pack remains the mobile and physically imposing eight of Hubert Buydens, captain Pat Riordan and Jason Marshall in the front row. Recent London Irish acquisition Jebb Sinclair rejoins Clermont Auvergne's Jamie Cudmore in the second row and Adam Kleeberger, recent Ospreys signing Chauncey O'Toole and Plymouth Albion's Aaron Carpenter return to the back row.
The squad's highest capped player, Ed Fairhurst, returns to the role of starting scrum half, leading to his vice-captain Ander Monro at fly half, Smith and Glasgow Warriors flyer DTH van der Merwe in the centres.
Phil Mackenzie returns to blind wing after scoring a try in each of Canada's recent games against the U.S., Ciaran Hearn maintains his spot at open wing and Bedford Blues kicker James Pritchard slots in at fullback.
The reserves bench sees a 4:3 split with Ryan Hamilton, Scott Franklin, Tyler Hotson and the return of Nanyak Dala from injury backing the forwards. Sean White returns to the bench as a back-up to Fairhurst, after a strong starting performance in the second game against the U.S. Conor Trainor gets his first chance since his test debut against Russia in the 2011 Churchill Cup and Nathan Hirayama returns to the bench as a backup flyhalf.
The game will also see captain Riordan and fullback Pritchard (originally from Australia) earn their 40th caps for Canada.
Canada and the Australian Barbarians meet at the Gold Coast’s Skilled Park on Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m. AEST.
Canadian side to face Australian Barbarians
NAME (HOMETOWN, PROVINCE, CRC, HOME CLUB, SCHOOL)
15. James Pritchard (Parkes, Australia, Bedford Blues/PRO, Randwick, Red Bend Catholic College)
14. Ciaran Hearn (Conception Bay South, NL, The Rock/CRC, Baymen RFC, Holy Spirit High School)
13. DTH van der Merwe (Victoria, BC, Glasgow Warriors/PRO, James Bay, Dr. Martin LeBoldus)
12. Ryan Smith (Calgary, AB, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC, Calgary Irish, Mayfield Secondary/University of Guelph)
11. Phil Mackenzie (Oakville, ON, Esher/PRO, Oakville Crusaders, Appleby College/University of Victoria)
10. Ander Monro (VC) (Victoria, BC, Ontario Blues/CRC, Castaway Wanderers, Glenalmond College/Edinburgh University)
9. Ed Fairhurst (Vancouver, BC, UBC Old Boys Ravens, St. Michael's University School/University of Victoria)
8. Aaron Carpenter (Brantford, ON, Plymouth Albion/PRO, Brantford Harlequins, Brantford Collegiate Institute/McMaster University)
7. Chauncey O'Toole (Belleisle, NB, Ospreys/PRO, Belleisle Rovers, Belleisle Regional High School)
6. Adam Kleeberger (White Rock, BC, BC Bears/CRC, University of Victoria Vikes, Semiahmoo Secondary School/University of Victoria)
5. Jamie Cudmore (Squamish, BC, ASM Clermont Auvergne/PRO, Howe Sound Secondary)
4. Jebb Sinclair (Fredericton, NB, London Irish/PRO, Fredericton Loyalists, Fredericton High School)
3. Jason Marshall (North Vancouver, BC, BC Bears/CRC, Capilano, Carson Graham Secondary/Simon Fraser University)
2. Pat Riordan (captain) (Surrey, BC, BC Bears/CRC, Burnaby Lake, Tamanawis Secondary/University of Victoria)
1. Hubert Buydens (Saskatoon, SK, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC, Saskatoon Wild Oats, Walter Murray/University of Saskatchewan)
16. Ryan Hamilton (West Vancouver, BC, BC Bears/CRC, Capilano, Rockridge Secondary/University of Victoria)
17. Scott Franklin (Regina, SK, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC, Castaway Wanderers, Athol Murray College of Notre Dame/Camosun College)
18. Tyler Hotson (Vancouver, BC, Plymouth/PRO, UBC Old Boys Ravens, St. George's School/University of British Columbia)
19. Nanyak Dala (Saskatoon, SK, Prairie Wolf Pack/CRC, Castaway Wanderers, Glenwood High School/University of Saskatchewan)
20. Sean White (Victoria, BC, BC Bears/CRC, James Bay, Oak Bay High School)
21. Conor Trainor (Vancouver, BC, BC Bears/CRC, UBC Old Boys, St. George's School/University of Western Ontario)
22. Nathan Hirayama (Richmond, BC, BC Bears/CRC, University of Victoria Vikes, Hugh McRoberts Secondary/University of Victoria)