James Pritchard comes into the Canada squad as a replacement to the injured Liam Underwood having originally retired from international rugby


James Pritchard has been called into the Canada squad to replace the injured Liam Underwood despite having retired from international rugby last month.

Pritchard, who is Canada’s record points scorer with 589 in 57 caps, was left out of the Canucks original 31-man squad and announced his retirement.

But the 36-year-old, who plays for English Championship side Bedford Blues, informed coaches he would be available should they need him and Underwood’s injury has resulted in his comeback.

“It was a massive decision to leave him out (of the original 31),” Canada coach Kieran Crowley said at a press conference on Thursday. “James has been an outstanding servant to Canadian rugby, the highest points scorer. As I said to him at the time, the mix (of the squad) had gone past him, but be ready,”

“He announced his retirement but he said if the opportunity came up in the World Cup, he was available, and he’s obviously been training and playing with (English club) Bedford.”

Canada face Italy in their second game of the World Cup on Saturday, having lost their opener to Ireland last weekend.