TORONTO (AP) — Canada lock Jebb Sinclair and winger Matt Evans have overcome concussion concerns to start against Ireland at BMO Field on Saturday.
Sinclair, Evans and winger Sean Duke all had to go through concussion protocols after blows to the head in an ill-tempered win over Tonga last weekend that resulted in three suspensions for the Pacific Islanders. Duke, however, did not make the matchday 23 for Saturday.
Ireland, meanwhile, is introducing another new face in a relatively inexperienced lineup against Canada. Center James Downey, at 32, will earn his first cap. He's one of seven changes made by interim coach Les Kiss from the team containing five new caps that edged the U.S. 15-12 last weekend in steamy Houston.
Winger Andrew Trimble will win his 50th cap for Ireland but the entire starting 15 totals just 191 caps. That's up from the 119-cap squad that faced the Americans last week. Ian Madigan, who kicked five-of-six penalties against the U.S., retains the No. 10 shirt while Paddy Jackson starts on the bench.
The Irish had to contend with a stomach virus that went through their camp this week. Canada is on a three-game winning streak, having defeated the U.S., Fiji and Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup play.
Canada: James Pritchard, Matt Evans, Ciaran Hearn, Harry Jones, Taylor Paris, Nathan Hirayama, Phil Mack; Aaron Carpenter (captain), John Monnlight, Tyler Ardron, Tyler Hotson, Jebb Sinclair, Jason Marshall, Ray Barkwill, Hubert Buydens. Reserves: Ryan Hamilton, Andrew Tiedemann, Doug Woolridge, Jon Phelan, Nanyak Dala, Sean White, Nick Blevins, Connor Braid.
Ireland: Felix Jones, Fergus McFadden, Darren Cave, James Downey, Andrew Trimble, Ian Madigan, Isaac Boss; Peter O'Mahony (captain), Tommy O'Donnell, Kevin McLaughlin, Devin Toner, Dan Tuohy, Mike Ross, Richardt Strauss, Tom Court. Reserves: Sean Cronin, David Kilcoyne, Declan Fitzpatrick, Mike McCarthy, Chris Henry, Paul Marshall, Paddy Jackson, Robbie Henshaw.