Canada head coach Kieran Crowley has released his 26-man roster for the upcoming June International Series to play against Japan, Scotland and the U.S. in Burnaby, Toronto and Sacramento, and Alexis Creek’s Jake Ilnicki is on it.
“I think there’s a lot of competition right now which creates some difficult decisions for the coaching staff and why our selection meeting took longer than expected. Full credit goes to the players who have given us their all and there will no doubt be some sad players, but that’s rugby,” said Crowley after the announcement.
The announcement follows an exciting match on Saturday afternoon at Klahanie Park in West Vancouver between the Canada Selects and a BC Invitational Team.
Despite trailing 26-7 early in the second half, the hosts took a narrow 27-26 victory in front of nearly 800 fans celebrating BC Rugby’s 125th Anniversary.
“Overall from tonight’s game I was pleased with the effort. The more time we spend together we’ll work on things like ball handling but there was a good showing of skill today and we need to carry that forward to next week,” added Crowley.
Canada will now train in Burnaby ahead of next Saturday’s Pacific Nations Cup clash against Japan at Swangard Stadium. Japan is fresh off qualifying for the Men’s Rugby World Cup after winning the recent Asian 5 Nations tournament and defeating Samoa last weekend.
“We’ll have a lot of work to do this week before the Japan test; it will be our first game together and they’ve had five recently and we always have difficult games against them. We’ve selected a group of guys that I know will give it their best shot and we will certainly look to put our best performance on the field,” said Crowley.
Following the Japan test, Canada will depart for Toronto on Sunday, June 7 to face Scotland on June 14 at BMO Field. The team will round off their June schedule in Sacramento, CA., against the U.S. Eagles on June 21.
For tickets to the upcoming internationals, please visit: http://events.rugbycanada.ca.