Canada expands RWC roster
July 4, 2003

Rugby Canada's chairman of selectors Dr Bruce Howe has announced that a number of 'players of interest' have been added to Canada's Senior Men's team World Cup Long List.

Added to the list is fullback James Pritchard who is currently having an outstanding season with the Rugby Canada Super League (RCSL) Prairie Fire team, where he is the leading points scorer.

He has twice been named RCSL 'Player of the Week' and was the League leader in scoring while playing for National League One, Bedford RFC, last winter in England. Though Pritchard was born and played rugby for Randwick in Australia, his grandfather was born in Dodsland, Saskatchewan before he emigrated 'Down Under.'

"Pritchard has shown that he is a reliable goal-kicker and fullback," said Howe. "He has been seen by quite a number of our selectors and by the national coaching staff, and is the kind of player we are looking for. He also practiced with Canada last November while the team was in Wales. He will have an opportunity to demonstrate his talents on the national scene in the near future."

Another Australian, former NSW Waratah's second-row Jeff Reid, has also been added to the list. The 6' 4", 240 pound Reid came to Canada and played the season with the Castaway-Wanderers in Victoria, where he showed well. He has since returned to Sydney where he is currently captaining the Eastwood team in the New South Wales Premier League.

"Jeff returned to Australia after his stint with Castaway-Wanderers and offered to come back and play in the RCSL here in Canada, one of the requirements for foreign-based and domestic players to be selected for the National team," explained Howe. "Coach Clark and I debated the issue and felt that it would be better for Jeff to stay in Sydney and play and captain his Eastwood team. We are constantly in touch with him and if he is chosen to play for Canada during the summer, he will return.

"We originally named 43 to the list, made changes in March, and rather than take people off the list now, have named a 51-man long list," said Howe.

Canada is slated to play the NZ Maori in Calgary on July 26 and in Toronto on August 2, with a Rugby Canada All-Star squad made up of Eastern RCSL All-Stars set to play the Maori on July 30 in Ottawa.

The Canadians will then take on the Republic of Georgia in Edmonton on August 16 with the Western RCSL All-Stars playing the visitors on August 13 in Red Deer. After the Georgia test, Canada will name its 30-man World Cup squad and will then travel to Argentina to play the Pan Am Tournament against Uruguay, USA and Argentina.

Canada departs for the World Cup in Australia on September 30 with its first game against Wales in Melbourne on October 12.

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