Former Ulster boss Mark Anscombe says Canada are searching for credibility from Saturday’s autumn Test against Ireland in Dublin.
Canada’s Kiwi head coach believes his side must utilise their Aviva Stadium platform as a sales pitch for further future fixtures against top-tier opposition.
Ireland will field an entirely new XV from the line-up that made history with 40-29 victory over New Zealand in Chicago, but Anscombe remains unfazed by the total rotation.
Canada sit 18th in the world rankings opposed to Ireland’s fifth, Joe Schmidt’s men rising one place thanks to last weekend’s maiden win over the All Blacks. Visiting boss Anscombe expects a stern examination despite Ireland’s wholesale changes.
“The boys have adapted well to what we want do to and we’re really looking forward to the game,” said Anscombe.
“We have to do well on Saturday so that we get credibility so that we can face off against other tier-one teams in the future.”
Ireland could dish out as many as eight debuts in Dublin on Saturday, where ticket sales are fast approaching a 52,000 sell-out as supporters cling to the feel-good factor of a first win over the All Blacks in 111 years of trying.
Captain Aaron Carpenter will win his 75th Test cap in Dublin, leaving him one behind Canada appearance record-holder Al Charron.
Scarlets speedster DTH Van der Merwe leads a pacy backline, with Brett Beukeboom, Conor Trainor and Connor Braid back in the starting line-up.
“It’s a different team from the one that faced the All Blacks but Ireland have that depth now, that was shown by the quality of their performance last weekend,” said Anscombe.
“A full house at the Aviva Stadium is a great opportunity for our guys but it will be daunting going up against a very good Irish team.”
CANADA TEAM TO FACE IRELAND IN DUBLIN ON SATURDAY: M Evans (Cornish Pirates), DTH Van der Merwe (Scarlets), C Trainor (RC Vannes), C Hearn (London Irish), T Paris (Agen), C Braid (James Bay AA), G McRorie (Calgary Hornets), D Sears-Duru (Glasgow Warriors), R Barkwill (Castaway Wanderers), J Ilnicki (Manawatu), B Beukeboom (Cornish Pirates), E Olmstead (Newcastle Falcons), K Baillie (Balmy Beach RFC), A Carpenter (Cornish Pirates, capt). Replacements: E Howard (Brantford Harlequins), R Brouwer (Lindsay RFC), M Tierney (Section Paloise), Admir Cejvanovic (Burnaby Lake RFC), M Heaton (Darlington Mowden Park), P Parfrey (both James Bay AA), N Blevins (Calgary Hornets).