Canada forced into changes
May 31, 2006

Injuries to three of Canada's original Barclays Churchill Cup squad sees Meraloma's Craig Culpan, Oakville Crusaders back-rower Sean-Michael Stephen and Castaway-Wanderers' wing Kris Witkowski come into the squad.

They replace Abbotsford lock Scott Hunter and wing Brodie Henderson, as well as James Bay AA's DTH Van der Merwe all suffering injuries that prevent them playing for the next few weeks.

Culpan, the Canadian born New Zealander played impressively on Canada 'A's tour of New Zealand and later in the North America 4 competition for the Canada West side that saw him score two well taken tries. Having played a season for Watsonians in Scotland he will find it interesting playing against the Scotland 'A' side, should he be chosen for that match.

Sean-Michael Stephen, who captained Canada's U-23 PacificSport Academy's Pacific Pride team in 2004/05, is no stranger to Churchill Cup play having been a member of the 2005 Canada squad. Stephen played impressively in the recent NA 4 competition playing his usual hard, physical brand of rugby but combining that with constructive play that saw him score a powerful try in the last match against the US Falcons, and set up another brilliant try by Jarod Selby that saw the two men combine to score a try that began at their own five-metre line.

Kris Witkowski also showed well in the NA 4 competition scoring two tries in the final match and another against Canada West in Vancouver. Originally from the Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia club he has been playing his rugby for the past number of years in Victoria with the Castaway-Wanderers.

Canada's Barclays Churchill Cup squad will gather in Oakville, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, on Wednesday where it will being intensive training in preparation for games against Scotland 'A' at Twin Elms Rugby Park in Ottawa on June 7 at 6.30 p.m. and against England Saxons at York University on June 10 at 2.45 p.m.

Canada Curchill Cup squad:

Aaron Abrams, Mike Barbieri, David Biddle, Hubert Buydens, Aaron Carpenter, Derek Daypuck, Ed Fairhurst, Sean-Michael Stephen, Craig Culpan, Josh Jackson, Adam Kleeberger, Stan McKeen, Justin Mensah-Coker, Ander Monro, Chris Pack, Matt Phinney, Dan Pletch, Mike Pletch, James Pritchard, Mike Pyke, Pat Riordan, Ryan Smith (Capt.), Rod Snow, David Spicer, Luke Tait, Kris Witkowski, Matt Weingart, Nik Witkowski, Morgan Williams

BARCLAYS CHURCHILL CUP

JUNE 3 ENGLAND SAXONS VS SCOTLAND 'A'
YORK UNIVERSITY STADIUM, TORONTO 2.45 PM.

JUNE 7 CANADA VS SCOTLAND 'A'
TWIN ELMS PARK, OTTAWA 6.30 P.M.

JUNE 10 CANADA VS ENGLAND SAXONS
YORK UNIVERSITY STADIUM, TORONTO 2.45 PM.

TICKETS: ticketmaster.ca (416) 872-5000 or call RUBGY CANADA (905) 780-8998 Ext. 245.

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