DTH van der Merwe will travel to a fourth Rugby World Cup later this month after the Glasgow Warriors winger was included in the Canada squad for Japan 2019.
Van der Merwe started all 12 of Canada’s matches across the 2007, 2011 and 2015 tournaments and will hope to add to his six Rugby World Cup tries during the Canucks’ Pool B campaign.
And the 33-year-old, who has scored 38 tries in 57 tests, is sure to have highlighted 8 October – when Canada face South Africa – on his calendar, given he has not played against the country of his birth during his 13-year international career.
Van der Merwe is one of 14 players named in Canada’s squad by head coach Kingsley Jones on Tuesday who has previous Rugby World Cup experience.
Hubert Buydens, Ciaran Hearn and Conor Trainor will all travel to their third Rugby World Cup when they board the flight to Japan later this month.
Captain Tyler Ardron, who plays for Super Rugby side the Chiefs in New Zealand, is one of the returning players from England 2015 as is Jeff Hassler.
The winger played his first test in more than a year last month having stepped away from the game after he left PRO14 side the Ospreys prior to the 2018-19 season.
“It’s been a really tough selection but that’s what we wanted,” Jones said. “The players made it difficult for us due to their commitment, and efforts over the last 18 months. I’d like to sincerely thank them all.
“It’s always a challenge for coaches to find the right mix to be competitive as possible while also looking towards the future and ensuring we are in good position for 2023, and we feel we’ve achieved that.
“With only 10 months of preparation, it can of course be challenging – but the group is in a good space, and have met that challenge head on.”
Canada boast a proud Rugby World Cup tradition having appeared at every tournament since its inception in 1987, reaching their sole quarter-final four years later.
However, the Canucks were the final team to qualify for Japan 2019 as they beat Germany, Hong Kong and Kenya at the four-team repechage in Marseille last November to secure the 20th spot.
Their form in 2019 has been patchy with six defeats in seven tests – including two to North American rivals the USA. Canada face the Eagles once more at BC Place Stadium on Saturday before they depart for Japan.
The Canucks’ Pool B campaign will get underway with a match against Italy – who they ran close in England four years ago – on 26 September, before New Zealand provide the opposition at Oita Stadium on 2 October.
Their match against the Springboks in Kobe City six days later is followed by a trip to the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, where Canada will play Namibia.
Canada Rugby World Cup 2019 squad
Forwards: Tyler Ardron (captain), Kyle Baillie, Justin Blanchet, Hubert Buydens, Luke Campbell, Matt Heaton, Eric Howard, Jake Ilnicki, Cole Keith, Conor Keys, Evan Olmstead, Benoit Piffero, Andrew Quattrin, Lucas Rumball, Djustice Sears-Duru, Mike Sheppard, Matthew Tierney.
Backs: Nick Blevins, Andrew Coe, Jeff Hassler, Ciaran Hearn, Ben LeSage, Phil Mack, Jamie Mackenzie, Gordon McRorie, Peter Nelson, Shane O’Leary, Patrick Parfrey, Taylor Paris, Conor Trainor, DTH van der Merwe.