Rugby Union: Canada give the Welsh a warning

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

WALES come up against Canada A in Hamilton this evening, opposition not to be taken lightly as the Canadian second string lost only 33-31 to the French last week.

As a further warning to the Welsh, Ian Birtwell, Canada's coach, said: 'We are unhappy that we're still being called an emerging nation. We now deserve better recognition. You don't beat Wales in Cardiff by accident.'

Alan Davies, his Welsh counterpart, is well aware of the threat posed to his team in a week concluding in Saturday's Test in Toronto and has picked a strong side to launch the country's five-match tour. There are eight survivors from the side who trounced Spain in last month's World Cup qualifier and only four uncapped players.

Ireland, meanwhile, have a great chance of improving their dismal Australian tour record when they take on a New South Wales Country XV in Lismore today. There are no big names in the Country selection, but the lock Justin Nowlan played for the Australian A team who destroyed the tourists 57-9 at Mount Isa last Wednesday.

As for Australia, they make a change for the second Test in Sydney this weekend. The centre Matthew O'Connor has a knee injury and Daniel Herbert, a 20-year-old Queenslander, wins his first cap.

Sam Scott-Young, the No 8 who won seven caps for the Wallabies, has retired after being told that a disc injury could lead to paralysis if he continued playing.