B.C prop to make first start for Canada

B.C prop Jake Ilnicki to make first rugby start for Canada against U.S. Eagles

The logo for Rugby Canada.

The logo for Rugby Canada.

By Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

B.C. prop Jake Ilnicki gets his first start for Canada on Saturday in Sacramento as the Canadian men wrap up their June rugby test series with a Pacific Nations Cup game against the United States.

The 22-year-old from Williams Lake, is one of four changes made by Canadian coach Kieran Crowley for the game, expected to be played in searing heat at Bonney Field.

Andrew Tiedemann comes in at the other prop position with Hubert Buydens and Jason Marshall, who started in the 19-17 loss to Scotland at BMO Field last week, moving to the bench.

“They’ve both played really well when they’ve come on,” Crowley said of the new prop pairing. “We feel as though they deserve an opportunity to start and we’ll see how it goes.”

Ilnicki played for Canada A in the 2013 Americas Rugby Championship and saw action for Canada against the New Zealand Maori in November that year. He won his first official cap against Georgia that same month as a second-half replacement for Tiedemann.

At 19, Ilnicki spent a season in New Zealand with an Auckland club team.

“He’s a young player who’s really progressed well,” Crowley said. “We’ve been really impressed with his training. He was chucked in the deep end last year against Georgia really and he held up very well there when he came on against some world-class props. He’s just developed further from that.

“Before the Japan game (on June 7) there was a lot of debate around the front row and the props and that. Both Marshall and Buydens have done very well but it’s an opportunity in this game as we look towards the future to see how Andrew and Jake go.”

Tiedemann, a 25-year-old from St. Albert, Alta., won his first cap against Wales in 2009.

In the backs, Connor Braid replaces Nick Blevins at inside centre and DTH van der Merwe comes in for injured winger Taylor Paris (concussion).

“We feel Connor’s made a real impact when he’s come on and we just want to see, from a further on down the path point of view, his abilities as a starter at No, 12,” said Crowley

Paris was hurt in the loss to Scotland, opening the door for Van der Merwe, who is coming back from a shoulder injury.

The rest of the side remains the same, with back-row forward Jebb Sinclair escaping further punishment after a disputed red card in the Scotland game.

Canada, ranked 16th in the world, and the No. 18 U.S. Eagles were both beaten by No. 12 Japan in their opening games of the tournament. Canada lost 34-25 in Burnaby, B.C., while the Americans went down 37-29 in Carson, Calif.

The two North Americans sides were also beaten by Scotland, who opened their summer tour with a 24-6 victory over the Eagles in Houston.

The Canadians hope to extend an eight-game unbeaten streak against the Americans that included three straight wins in 2013. Canada won a two-match World Cup qualifying tie by 20 points last summer after taking a 16-9 decision over the Eagles in May in Edmonton.

The U.S. has not defeated Canada since a 12-6 win in July 2009 in South Carolina. That was the first leg of a World Cup qualifying series and the Canadians won the return match 41-18 a week later to book their 2011 tournament ticket.

Kickoff at the new 8,000 seat stadium is 3 p.m. PT Saturday.

Canada

Andrew Tiedemann, Plymouth Albion (England), St. Albert, Alta.; Aaron Carpenter, Cornish Pirates (England), Brantford, Ont.; Jake Ilnicki, Williams Lake Rustlers, Williams Lake, B.C.; Jamie Cudmore, ASM Clermont Auvergne (France), Squamish, B.C.; Tyler Hotson, London Scottish (England), Vancouver; Jebb Sinclair, London Irish (England), Fredericton; John Moonlight, James Bay AA, Pickering, Ont.; Tyler Ardron (capt.), Ospreys (Wales), Lakefield, Ont.; Phil Mack, James Bay AA, Victoria; Harry Jones, Capilano, West Vancouver; DTH Van der Merwe, Glasgow Warriors (Scotland), Regina; Connor Braid, James Bay AA, Victoria; Ciaran Hearn, Castaway Wanderers, Conception Bay South, N.L.; Jeff Hassler, Ospreys (Wales) Okotoks, Alta.; James Pritchard, Bedford Blues (England) Parkes, Australia.

Reserves

Hubert Buydens, Manawatu Turbos (New Zealand), Saskatoon; Ray Barkwill, Niagara Wasps, Niagara Falls, Ont.; Jason Marshall, Atlantique Stade Rochelais (France), Vancouver; Jon Phelan, Doncaster Knights (England), Montreal; Kyle Gilmour, Saint Albert RFC, Saint Albert, Alta.; Gordon McRorie, Calgary Hornets, Calgary; Nathan Hirayama, UVIC Vikes, Richmond, B.C.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Rendering of the proposed Esquimalt public safety building. (Courtesy Township of Esquimalt)
Esquimalt blazes new trail toward modern public safety building

Township using alternative approval process for first time to gauge public support for proposal

Landmarks such as Howard the giant gnome at Galey's Farm in Saanich make a stunning backdrop for celebratory dance in the Greater Victoria Festival Society trailer for its coming Dance Victoria campaign. (Screeshot/Greater Victoria Festival Society)
Residents’ videos help campaign Dance Across Victoria

Celebratory dance clips to be compiled into Greater Victoria Festival Society video

Reynolds Secondary School’s spring musical Freaky Friday features Grace Fouracre as teen Ellie Blake (left) who swaps bodies with her overworked mother, Katherine, played by Nadia Lurie. (Photo courtesy Reynolds Secondary School)
Saanich high school goes virtual with Freaky Friday musical

Reynolds Secondary theatre program to livestream performances March 9-12

Saanich Fire Department. Black Press Media File Photo
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Most Read