Rugby World Cup: Canada coach Kieran Crowley stays positive despite loss of flanker
Canada head coach Kieran Crowley insists his team can cope without injured back-rower Tyler Ardron in their World Cup opener against Ireland.
The influential Ospreys flanker has lost his battle to beat a knee injury in time to face the Irish at the Millennium Stadium in tomorrow's first Pool D clash.
Evergreen lock Jamie Cudmore will lead the Canucks and head coach Crowley believes they are ready to take on the double RBS 6 Nations champions, even with eight World Cup debutants in their ranks.
"Unfortunately Tyler Ardron is unavailable due to injury but we hope he will be ready for our second game against Italy," he said.
"They are one of the favourites so we know we've got a massive challenge in front of us, but we've trained well and we are hoping things go our way."
Clermont's gritty 37-year-old lock Cudmore continues to churn out first-rate performances in France's unforgiving Top 14, and will renew hostilities with old sparring partner Paul O'Connell.
Crowley backed Cudmore to keep his cool and guide Canada's engine-room fight against the much-fancied Irish.
"Jamie is one of Canada's best-known rugby players and he will roll up his sleeves," he said. "I know he's looking forward to it. And it will also be interesting to see the battle between the two old warriors."