Winger D.T.H. van der Merwe will captain Canada for the first time in Saturday’s rugby test match against Romania in Bucharest.
He takes over from No. 8 Aaron Carpenter, who broke his arm in Canada’s 52-21 loss to fifth-ranked Ireland last Saturday in Dublin. It marked Carpenter’s 75th cap, one off Al Charron’s Canadian record.
Romania is ranked 16th in the world, compared to No. 18 for Canada.
The Oaks are coming off a 23-10 win over the 17th-ranked U.S. Eagles last Saturday in Bucharest.
Canadian coach Mark Anscombe has made three changes for the Romania game at Stadionul Arcul de Triumf.
Ben Lesage makes his test debut while Admir Cejvanovic and Mark Heaton both get their first test starts.
Cejvanovic, a former sevens player who won his first 15s cap off the bench against Ireland, comes in for Carpenter.
Heaton replaces Lucas Rumball at open-side flanker while Lesage comes in for Ciaran Hearn at centre. Hearn drops to the bench.
Lesage was part of the Canadian squad for the June internationals against Japan, Russia and Italy but did not see action. He has played for Canada ‘A’ this year.
Conor Keys could make his test debut off the bench.
Romania has won the last four meetings with Canada, most recently rallying from a 15-0 deficit for a 17-15 victory at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The Canadian lineup Saturday features just four starters from that game – van der Merwe, scrum half Gord McRorie, lock Brett Beukeboom and hooker Ray Barkwill.
Canada is 2-4-0 all-time against Romania with its last victory coming at the 1995 World Cup.
The Canadians wrap up their November tour against 14th-ranked Samoa in Grenoble, France, on Nov. 25.Report Typo/Error