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Dungannon man Peter Nelson named to start against the All Blacks for Canada at the Rugby World Cup

 

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Peter Nelson has been selected in Canada's starting side that will take on the All Blacks on Wednesday.

Peter Nelson has been selected in Canada's starting side that will take on the All Blacks on Wednesday.

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Peter Nelson has been selected in Canada's starting side that will take on the All Blacks on Wednesday.

Peter Nelson is about to go from being released by Ulster to starting at 10 against the All Blacks in little over four months.

The 'how-to' guide involves having a granny from Toronto, flying to Canada for the first time and impressing in the World Cup warm-up matches over the summer.

Now all his hard work is paying dividends in the most fantastic of fashions as his place in the starting team to take on New Zealand has been confirmed.

Nelson played in Canada's World Cup opener, a 48-7 defeat to Italy last week, and has done enough to secure his spot for the big game on Wednesday (kick-off 11.15am BST).

"This is what any player would want," he told Jonathan Bradley of the upcoming double-header with South Africa waiting just six days further down the line.

"You grow up dreaming of games like that. You want to play against the best in the world and we'll play against two of them in the next few days. We're under no illusions as to the size of the task, it's the biggest there is. We have to get ourselves right and put in as good a performance as we can."

For Nelson especially, games with such a large audience will act as a shop window too. He has no club beyond the World Cup despite some earlier interest from sides in France. For now, that's far from his mind.

"I'm focused on this and hopefully if I play well I can pick something up in the next few months. It wouldn't be right to be thinking about anything else when this is such a massive tournament," he said.

He will come up against a shuffled New Zealand side, with 11 changes from the opening weekend win over the Springboks.  Only try-scorer Scott Barrett, captain Kieran Read, Richie Mo'unga, and Beauden Barrett retain their starting spots.

Belfast Telegraph