TORONTO - Canada's Jebb Sinclair and Matt Evans have overcome concussion concerns to start Saturday against Ireland in one of Canadian rugby's biggest challenges of the year.
Sinclair, Evans and Sean Duke all had to go through the IRB concussion protocol after blows to the head in an ill-tempered win over Tonga last weekend that resulted in three suspensions for the Pacific Islanders. Duke, however, does not make the matchday 23 for Saturday.
Ireland, meanwhile, is introducing another new face in a relatively inexperienced lineup against Canada. Centre James Downey, at the age of 32, will earn his first cap for the eighth-ranked Irish at Toronto's BMO Field.
Downey is one of seven changes made by interim coach Les Kiss from the team containing five new caps that edged the U.S. 15-12 last weekend in steamy Houston.
Winger Andrew Trimble will win his 50th cap for Ireland but the entire starting 15 totals just 191 caps. That's up from the 119-cap squad that faced the Americans last week.
Ian Madigan, who kicked five-of-six penalties against the U.S., retains the No. 10 shirt while Paddy Jackson starts on the bench.
The touring Irish side is missing 11 top players, picked by the British & Irish Lions for its current tour of Australia. Donnacha Ryan and Craig Gilroy were not picked for the North American tour so they could rest.
The Irish had to contend with a stomach virus that went through their camp this week.
Canada, ranked 13th in the world, is on a three-game winning streak, having defeated the U.S., Fiji and Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup play.
Canadian coach Kieran Crowley has kept with the front row of Hubert Buydens, Ray Barkwill and Jason Marshall but there are changes at lock. Sinclair moves from flanker to the second row alongside incumbent Tyler Hotson. Tyler Ardron fills in for Sinclair in the back row along with John Moonlight and captain Aaron Carpenter.
Nathan Hirayama wins the battle for fly half, pairing with scrum half Phil Mack who is preferred over Sean White.
Taylor Paris comes in for Duke at wing, alongside Evans. Ciaran Hearns remains at centre, along with new partner Harry Jones. James Pritchard stays at fullback
Hubert Buydens, Saskatoon Wild Oats, Saskatoon; Ray Barkwill, Niagara Wasps RFC, Niagara Falls, Ont.; Jason Marshall, Atlantique Stade Rochelais (France), Vancouver; Jebb Sinclair, London Irish (England), Fredericton; Tyler Hotson, London Scottish (England), Vancouver; Tyler Ardron, James Bay AA, Lakefield, Ont.; John Moonlight, James Bay AA, Pickering, Ont,; Aaron Carpenter (capt.), Cornish Pirates (England), Brantford, Ont.; Phil Mack, UVIC Vikes, Victoria; Nathan Hirayama, UVIC Vikes, Richmond, B.C.; Taylor Paris SU Agen Lot-et-Garonne (France), Barrie, Ont,; Harry Jones, Capilano RFC, Vancouver; Ciaran Hearn, Castaway Wanderers, Conception Bay, N.L.; Matt Evans, Cornish Pirates (England), Maple Bay, B.C.; James Pritchard, Bedford Blues (England), Parkes, Australia.
Ryan Hamilton, Capilano, Vancouver; Andrew Tiedemann, Castaway Wanderers, St. Albert, Alta.; Doug Wooldridge, Lindsay RFC, Lindsay, Ont.; Jon Phelan, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Montreal; Nanyak Dala, Castaway Wanderers, Saskatoon; Sean White, James Bay AA, Victoria; Nick Blevins, Calgary Hornets, Calgary; Connor Braid, Doncaster Knights (England), Victoria.
Felix Jones, Munster; Fergus McFadden, Leinster; Darren Cave, Ulster; James Downey, Munster; Andrew Trimble, Ulster; Ian Madigan, Leinster; Isaac Boss, Leinster; Tom Court, Ulster; Richardt Strauss, Leinster; Mike Ross, Leinster; Dan Tuohy, Ulster; Devin Toner, Leinster; Kevin McLaughlin; Leinster; Tommy O'Donnell; Munster; Peter O'Mahony (capt.), Munster.
Sean Cronin, Leinster; David Kilcoyne, Munster; Declan Fitzpatrick, Ulster; Mike McCarthy, Connacht; Chris Henry, Ulster; Paul Marshall, Ulster; Paddy Jackson, Ulster; Robbie Henshaw, Connacht.