Kicking off in Edmonton, check out our preview of the match between Scotland and Canada
Summer Tours: Scotland v Canada Preview
Scotland‘s 2018 Summer Tour will kick off against Canada on the 9th of June (kick off in the UK is on the morning of the 10th). Taking place in Edmonton at the Commonwealth Stadium, it will be their first tour match with the USA and Argentina following on the 16th and 23rd of June respectively.
Canada will follow with matches against Russia and the USA on the same dates.
The last time these two sides played against each other was way back in 2014 when Scotland were narrow winners by a score of 19-17.
In fact the last time Canada managed to beat Scotland in a Test was in 2002 by 26 points to 23.
Whats the big team news?
Injuries could be a problem at the moment with several big players out of the tour. John Barclay (Achilles), Richie Gray (hip), and Alex Dunbar (hamstring) are all expected to be out for its duration. Stuart McInally, who was recently named as captain, is also out with a calf strain.
As a result, Gregor Townsend has named a young, inexperienced side to face Canada with lock Grant Gilchrist leading the team out for the third time, after doing so in 2014 against Argentina and South Africa. Edinburgh flanker Jamie Ritchie and Harlequins back James Lang will both be getting their first caps in Edmonton. Lewis Carmichael and Adam Hastings of Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively, could also make their debuts off the bench. Hastings is the son of Scottish rugby legend Gavin Hastings.
Injuries have also had a negative effect on Canada’s team too. Chiefs forward Tyler Ardron and experienced utility back Gordon McRorie are both out with concussion and ankle injuries respectively. Phil Mack and Nick Blevins will make their 50th appearances for Canada.
What have the coaches said?
Scotland coach Gregor Townsend: “A number of opportunities have been given to players to play their way into our thinking on this tour and beyond, and we look forward to seeing them take to the field this Saturday.”
“Given that we’ve left quite a few of the boys at home, there are opportunities for the guys we have here.”
The midfield is one area Townsend is looking at improving with the growth in depth being of particular importance. He said, “You need depth, particularly in midfield, so let’s see if somebody can influence our thinking going into the November games but especially the World Cup next year.”
Canada coach Kingsley Jones: “They’re a top side. Gregor Townsend is a very good coach, very positive and we’re expecting a fast game. They’ll try to create opportunities from turnovers and offload the ball so it’s going to be an exciting game for the spectator. We’re pleased with the group that is playing. The twenty-three are looking strong, with some options off the bench.”
Any interesting statistics?
- This will be Canada’s third match against a Tier 1 side since the last World Cup. The last two came in 2016 against Italy and Ireland of which they lost both. The scoreline against Italy was 18-20 and Ireland swamped them 21-52.
- Canada captain DTH van der Merwe is on 99 career tries (47 for Glasgow, 32 for Canada, 19 for Scarlets, 1 for Newcastle). Can he bring up the century against Scotland?
- This will be the 5th time both sides have met. In the previous four, Scotland have won three and Canada one.
When does it kickoff and is it on TV?
Yes it is on television but be prepared for an early start. The BBC will be televising all the Scotland matches with the matchup against Canada starting at two o’clock in the morning on Sunday.
What are the lineups?
SCOTLAND: Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), Lee Jones (Glasgow), Chris Harris (Newcastle), James Lang (Harlequins), Bryon McGuigan (Sale); Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow – vice-captain), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Scarlets); Allan Dell (Edinburgh), Fraser Brown (Glasgow – vice-captain), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), Grant Gilchrist ((Edinburgh – captain), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), David Denton (Worcester).
Replacements: George Turner (Glasgow), Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow), Murray McCallum (Edinburgh), Lewis Carmichael (Edinburgh), Luke Hamilton (Leicester), Ali Price (Glasgow), Adam Hastings (Glasgow), Mark Bennett (Edinburgh).
CANADA: Noah Barker, Ray Barkwill, Jake Ilnicki, Paul Ciulini, Evan Olmstead , Lucas Rumball, Matt Heaton, Luke Campbell, Phil Mack, Shane O’Leary, DTH van der Merwe (captain), Nick Blevins, Doug Fraser, Jeff Hassler, Pat Parfrey
Replacements: Eric Howard, Djustice Sears-Duru, Cole Keith, Conor Keys, Dustin Dobravsky, Andrew Ferguson, Cole Davis, Theo Sauder
Who do you think will come away with the victory?
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