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In Pics: Ireland v Canada In Previous Years

In Pics: Ireland v Canada In Previous Years

Saturday’s clash will mark the fourth time Ireland and Canada have locked horns in the Test arena. Interestingly, Luke Fitzgerald’s father Des lined out at tighthead prop for Ireland when they first met Canada during the 1987 Rugby World Cup.

That Carisbrook pool game back in 1987 ended in a handsome 46-19 win for the Irish with Keith Crossan (2), Hugo MacNeill, Trevor Ringland, Michael Bradley and Brian Spillane sharing out six tries.

Michael Kiernan, playing at outside centre, kicked five conversions, a drop goal and two penalties, while Tony Ward, who partnered Bradley at half-back, chipped in with a drop goal.

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A 20,670-strong crowd turned out for the Ireland v Canada friendly at Lansdowne Road in November 1997.

Had Ireland’s most-capped player Malcolm O’Kelly been selected in Saturday’s squad, he would have been the only surviving member from the 1997 side that faced Canada.

As it was, the game will be most remembered for full-back Kevin Nowlan scoring a brace of tries in the second of his three outings for Ireland. Kevin Maggs, Conor McGuinness and Victor Costello also grabbed tries.

The 2000 encounter between Ireland and Canada was a lot tighter, with the Irish needing a last-minute penalty from Ronan O’Gara to salvage a 27-27 draw in Ontario.

Tries from full-back Winston Stanley, prop Phil Murphy and 17-point out-half Scott Stewart shot the Canadians in a surprise 21-8 half-time lead, with Shane Horgan managing to touch down at the other end.

It had been a tough but rewarding tour for Warren Gatland’s men, who lost to Argentina but mustered an 83-3 win over the USA in response.

Ireland fought back in the second half against Canada, scoring tries through Justin Bishop and Paul Wallace, with O’Gara coming off the replacements bench to kick three vital penalties.

Of Saturday’s matchday squad, Horgan, Peter Stringer, O’Gara and John Hayes are the only surviving members from the 2000 panel, while scrum half Morgan Williams and props Jon Thiel and Kevin Tkachuk togged out eight years ago.

Of course, Keith Earls, a debutant at full-back this weekend, played and scored a try in a 37-20 Churchill Cup win for Ireland ‘A’ over Canada in Exeter in May of last year.

Click here to view photos from previous matches involving Canada and the Ireland senior and ‘A’ teams.