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Canada Ready for USA

Wednesday Jul 1, 2009 in Canada National Team - Men

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(Ian Muir photo)

Vancouver, BC - Six weeks of training and team building exercises, three test matches and the Churchill Cup run have all been pivotal steps in the Canadian Senior Men’s preparation for the most important series of the summer – their 2011 Rugby World Cup qualifiers against the USA.

Canada hung in there against Ireland and Wales and moved past Georgia into 13th place in the IRB World Rankings after a convincing 42-10 victory.

“I think we’re really excited about things that are happening right now,” said Aaron Carpenter. “A lot of the guys are coming together and really gelling as a unit. We’ve played well in patches and that’s really exciting when you do get those breaks and start scoring tries – I really enjoy playing that kind of rugby.”

Flyhalf Ander Monro said the time together has been important for the team.

“Every time we play the boys are getting more and more comfortable with how we’re trying to play the game,” Monro said. “I think there’s been a good progression throughout. We’ve had a great couple of days together and we’re ready to head down to the States.”

Canada has a four-game winning streak going on against the Eagles, but Carpenter said his team knows this game will be tough.

“It’s going to be right in the US on July 4, so they’re going to be firing,” Carpenter said after the team’s final session before leaving for Vancouver on Monday. “They’ve improved a lot over the past couple weeks and they’ve brought in a couple guys. We really need to put our mark on the game like we did last year.”

Monday saw the team carry out their final training session at Shawnigan Lake School before hitting the gym at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence. Only 26 players have been selected to travel to South Carolina.

“It’s hard to see those guys leave,” Carpenter said. “They’re good people and good characters and make the team a really special unit. We’ll work for those guys because we know they’ll be dying to be in the squad.”

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