Ardron to captain Canada at World Cup

‘Nobody has hit better than me this week’ – Koepka on his ball-striking during third round

Canada head coach Kieran Crowley has announced his squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England and Wales, with Tyler Ardon named as captain.

The 31-man squad features players from seven provinces – Ontario (11), British Columbia (10), Alberta (4), Saskatchewan (2), New Brunswick (1), Quebec (1) and Newfoundland (1). Richard Thorpe is from Beckenham, England.

Crowley, a World Cup winner as a player in 1987 with the All Blacks, enters his fifth RWC campaign, having been to the first two as a player with New Zealand, serving one as a selector, and now entering his second in a row as a coach.

Canada had named an initial 35-man group after the Pacific Nations Cup but still had to trim it down to 31 before the end of the month. Tom Dolezel and Taylor Paris will both miss the tournament with injuries.

The squad features 17 forwards and 14 backs and will be captained by Ardron, who makes his World Cup debut.

"Tyler is part of the leadership group at Ospreys and captained them during the Six Nations this year. He's young but will call on the experience of Jamie Cudmore, Aaron Carpenter, Hubert Buydens and DTH Van Der Merwe, who all have World Cup experience, to help provide leadership," said Crowley.

Compared to their Pool D opponents, the team is relatively young with 18 players making their World Cup debuts. There are only 650 test caps between all 31 players selected to the World Cup squad.

Crowley has used the last two seasons to test players and work on combinations that involve both domestic players and overseas professionals.

Cudmore will play at his fourth World Cup, becoming only the fifth player in Canadian history to play at four World Cups, joining Gareth Rees, Rod Snow, Mike James and Al Charron. Carpenter and Van Der Merwe will be playing in their third World Cup.

"They bring a wealth of experience," said Crowley.

"Jamie's been around a long time and Jebb Sinclair and Jason Marshall were both in the last World Cup. You can't beat experience and it will add a lot to the group.

"For all of the players selected, the World Cup represents rugby's greatest stage and we have an opportunity to uphold Canada's history dating back to 1987."

Canada's Rugby World Cup 31-man squad: Tyler Ardron, Ray Barkwill, Brett Beukeboom, Nick Blevins, Connor Braid, Hubert Buydens, Aaron Carpenter, Jamie Cudmore, Nanyak Dala, Matt Evans, Kyle Gilmour, Jeff Hassler, Ciaran Hearn, Nathan Hirayama, Harry Jones, Phil Mack, Jamie Mackenzie, Phil Mackenzie, Jason Marshall, Gordon McRorie, John Moonlight, Evan Olmstead, Benoit Piffero, Djustice Sears-Duru, Jebb Sinclair, Richard Thorpe, Andrew Tiedemann, Conor Trainor, Liam Underwood, DTH van der Merwe, Doug Wooldridge.