Canada looks for win in Brazil to wrap up Americas Rugby Championship

Canada wraps up ARC tournament play in Brazil

Canada looks to end the Americas Rugby Championship on a winning note Friday as it takes on Brazil in Sao Paulo.

For coach Mark Anscombe the tournament has been a chance to evaluate young talent. But questions remain, including the pivotal position of fly half.

With No. 1 Connor Braid playing for the Worcester Warriors in England’s Aviva Premiership, Anscombe has used Robbie Povey and Gradyn Bowd in the No. 10 position during the tournament, also sliding scrum half Gord McRorie over to fly half. 

“I’m clear who No. 1 is. He’s not with us,” Anscombe said, referencing Braid. “It’s an area that we’re very very thin in … It’s just an area where we’re going to have to be patient because we do not produce players in that position. It’s a real concern.”

Pat Parfrey, another in the No. 10 pool, is currently sidelined with a leg injury.

Canada, ranked 20th in the world, is 1-3-0 at the tournament, having beaten Chile 36-15 and lost 20-6 to Argentina ‘A,’ 51-34 to the U.S. and 17-13 Uruguay. No. 33 Brazil (also 1-3-0) is coming off a 79-7 thumping at the hand of the Argentines.

“They should be motivated, yeah,” Anscombe said of the Brazilians. “They’ve had a few days off this week I understand so they’ll come back fresh. If you look at some of their games, they’ve actually played some good rugby … They actually do have a few capable players in their team. They won’t be a pushover and it’s going to be another challenge for us to make sure that the work we do during the week is shown on the park game-time.”

The Brazilians opened the tournament with a 17-3 victory over Chile before falling 51-3 to the U.S. and 23-12 to Uruguay.

Canada defeated Brazil 52-25 in their only other meeting, at the 2016 tournament in Langford, B.C.

The ARC winner will be determined in Patagonia on Saturday when Argentina ‘A’ hosts the 17th-ranked Americans in a battle of unbeaten teams. Third-place Uruguay, ranked 21st in the world, hosts No. 30 Chile, which has yet to register a point.

“We haven’t had the results that we’ve wanted but we’ve had aspects of games that have answered questions for us on certain personnel, which has been a key for us,” said Anscombe. “And we have grown in certain areas.” 

Winger Rory McDonell is slated to become the 11th player to earn his first cap for Canada during the tournament. Last year’s competition saw 19 Canadians win their first cap.

Anscombe is unashamedly building towards the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, with qualification starting later this summer.

“We’ve got two years, 2 1/2 years, and we’ve got to start developing and bringing a new breed through that’s going to offer something for Canada going forward. That’s been the priority of this campaign”

Friday’s starting 15 sees brothers Brett and Matt Beukeboom both in the forward pack, Brett at lock and Matt at flanker. They are the first Canadian brothers to start in the same test match since Jamie and Phil Mackenzie against Italy at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

McRorie captains Canada.



Rob Brouwer, Eric Howard, Matthew Tierney, Brett Beukeboom, Liam Chisholm, Matt Beukeboom, Lucas Rumball, Admir Cejvanovic, Gord McRorie (capt.), Gradyn Bowd, Rory McDonell, Nick Blevins, Conor Trainor, Dan Moor, Guiseppe du Toit.


Ray Barkwill, Djustice Sears-Duru, Cole Keith, Reegan O’Gorman, Clay Panga, Phil Mack, George Barton,Brock Staller.


Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Canadian Press

Just Posted

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

The administrative headquarters for the Central Okanagan Public Schools. (File photo)
COVID-19 exposures confirmed at 2 Central Okanagan Schools

The infected individuals are self-isolating at home

Farming Karma is set to release a line of fruit vodka sodas soon. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna fruit growers expanding line of beverages

Farming Karma is expanding from fruit sodas to fruit vodka sodas

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read