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Just 23, Tyler Ardron has big shoes to fill as Canadian rugby captain. Hans de Goede, Gareth Rees and Al Charron are just some of the rugby icons to lead Canada to battle. Other Canadian skippers of note include Mark Wyatt, Spence McTavish, John Graf and Mike James. More recently, Morgan Williams, Pat Riordan and Aaron Carpenter have captained Canada. Ardron, who has got congratulatory emails offering advice and support from many of those captains, really is the new kid on the block. "I know it is a great honour and its great to be able to follow up in those guys footsteps," said Ardron, who turned 23 on Monday. It speaks volumes that after being named captain, Ardrons thoughts were not about himself but of those who helped him along his rugby road. "Theres so many things that if they hadnt happened right, I wouldnt be here now," said the willowy back-row forward from Lakefield, Ont. With Carpenter transitioning to a new position -- from No. 8 to hooker -- Canadian coach Kieran Crowley opted for a new leader ahead of the June internationals. His choice was Ardron, who is coming off his first pro season in Wales with Ospreys. While young, with just 15 caps going into Saturdays Pacific Nations Cup match against the U.S. Eagles in Sacramento, Ardron is no stranger to leadership. He captained the McMaster University team, as well as Canada at the IRB Junior World Trophy. Ardron, who made his national team debut in June 2012, also led Canada twice in 2013 before Crowley made it permanent this year. "Hes a good player, he knows the game," said Crowley. "His year at Ospreys has really helped him. Hes even being brought into the leadership group in the Ospreys camp. So that just shows you what their opinion of him is. "I see him as a leader who could be a leader for Canada for a long time to come. Hes grounded, he has good character. Hes still obviously learning the whole leadership role of it but Ive been very impressed with him." The six-foot-four 242-pounder showed his commitment to the team last November in Tbilisi when Georgian flanker Vito Kolelishvili clotheslined Canadian fly half Liam Underwood. Ardron, who was captain on the day, confronted the Georgian and a brawl began, with several Canadians engulfed in packs of Georgia players. Almost every player on the field got involved, with several mini-clashes breaking out as Canadian trainers tended to the prone Underwood. Kolelishvili and Ardron were both red-carded when peace was restored. The Canadian forward escaped further sanctions because he did not throw a punch. Rees, currently manager of the national mens program, says Ardrons rugby story is one of a "meteoric rise." "For me one of the most important things with a captain is his name is one of the first on the team sheet, from the selection point, and it is in his case," said Rees, a member of the International Rugby Board Hall of Fame. "By no means a finished product in terms of captaincy but a really good head on his shoulders. Hes very open to using and engaging the other senior players which is something that I learned over my course (as captain) is really important." "A guy who cares about the jersey," said Charron, who like Rees played in four Rugby World Cups. Charron, no stranger to leading by example, likes what he sees on the field with Ardron. "Ive been impressed with his play," added Charron, Rugby Canadas manager of player advancement and alumni relations. Ardron grew up playing hockey, adding rugby in Grade 9. A centre in hockey, he played at the triple-A level and had dreams of playing in the OHL before focusing on university and rugby. He moved to Victoria during his third year at McMaster to take his rugby to the next level. He had already won sevens gold at the 2011 Pan American Games, a squad whose members continues to excel for Rugby Canada. This was the first season he hasnt played a sevens, due to his pro commitments with his Welsh club team. Ardron, who rooms with fellow Canadian Jeff Hassler in Wales, played 22 games for Ospreys in his debut season. "It went really well," he said. "Jeff made the dream (all-star) team of the league and played a ton. As a forward we had a lot more rotation but I still played well over 20 games and had a ton of game time." Nicknames are key on a team that includes five Jones, two Smiths and two named Thomas. There is more to life than rugby, however. Ardron continues his university studies in finance and economics online. An avid reader, he can see a future in real estate. With his growing club and international demands, it makes for a busy schedule but Ardron has no regrets. "Any time you take a step back and think if I had just done the normal thing and finished my degree, Id be sitting behind a desk probably now and wishing I was doing this. So Ive got plenty of time to do that when Im done. I think I just need to always keep that in mind and take a step back and look at it that way." Canada is ranked 16th in the world by the IRB while the U.S. is No. 18. Both teams are coming off earlier losses to Japan in the Pacific Nations Cup. Wholesale Air Max 270 Black . Donald Young lost in straight sets to Israels Dudi Sela 6-3, 6-0. Querrey, ranked No. 61, is the second-highest ranked American, ahead of Johnson (64). Paul George Shoes Buy .com) - James van Riemsdyk had two goals with one assist to help the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night. http://www.wholesalenikeshoesclearance. ... shoes.html .Y. - Sven Andrighetto scored once and set up two more as the Hamilton Bulldogs hung on to defeat the host Adirondack Flames 5-3 on Tuesday in American Hockey League action. Outlet Air Max 1 . Moments after scoring and setting off another wild celebration at Minsk arena, Platt leapt into the arms of Belarusian captain Alexei Kalyuzhny. Nike Vapormax Outlet .That sight softened the blow of what ended up as a 4-3 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.Knowing their teammate was fine after a scary headfirst fall in the opening minute of the game helped calm the Maple Leafs.MINNEAPOLIS -- Ubaldo Jimenez struck out a season-high 10 over seven-plus scoreless innings for his first win with Baltimore, and Nelson Cruz hit a two-run home run to pad his lead for the Orioles in a 3-0 victory on Friday over the Minnesota Twins. Jimenez (1-4) allowed only three hits while taking a significant step forward from five rough starts to begin his $50 million, four-year contract with the Orioles. Jimenez dropped his ERA from 6.59 to 5.19, after leaving with one out in the eighth following Eduardo Escobars double. Zach Britton stranded the runner with a groundout and a called third strike on Joe Mauer, and Tommy Hunter picked up his eighth save in nine tries by pitching the ninth. Trevor Plouffe led off with a double, but Hunter struck out the next two and ended the game on a groundout. Ricky Nolasco (2-3) gave the Twins a complete game, giving up nine hits and one walk while striking out six for his eighth career nine-inning appearance. Cruz doubled in the fourth, scoring on a double by Matt Wieters, before his soaring drive into the third deck above left field followed a leadoff single by Manny Machado in the sixth inning. Cruz, who entered the night tied for fourth in the league in homers, has gone deep eight times already with his new team. The sign that this would be Jimenezs night came in the third inning, when the first two Twins he faced reached base. The 30-year-old right-hander with the herky-jerky delivery dug in and struck out the side after that: Brian Dozier, Mauer and Plouffe. From the third into the eighth, Jimenez retired 16 of 17 batters, with the only outlier a fielding error by second baseman Jonathan Schoop that put Escobar on with two outs in the fifth. Jimenez, who threw a season-high 118 pitches, had issued 17 walks in 27 1-3 innings over those prior five starts. Threee runs allowed was his lowest total.dddddddddddd Nolasco, who received the richest deal the Twins have ever given a free agent from another team, likewise has had a rocky start to the $49 million, four-year contract he signed with the club. But only on the road, where the right-hander has taken the mound four times. In two turns at Target Field, Nolasco has allowed just four runs on 14 hits and two walks in 17 innings. These were two tired teams taking the field, each forced into a doubleheader the day before by wet weather prior to that. The Orioles swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in Baltimore on Thursday and arrived in Minneapolis around 5:30 a.m. The Twins had the benefit of being at home, but after a Wednesday night game that lasted 3:38 they were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday in games that took 3:01 and 5:11. The last one, the longest game in five seasons at Target Field, took 12 innings. NOTES: The Orioles will send LH Wei-Yin Chen (3-1, 4.34 ERA) to the mound on Saturday afternoon, and RH Kevin Correia (0-3, 7.33 ERA) will pitch for the Twins. Chen has won both of his road starts this year. Correia gave up eight runs in only 2 1-3 innings in his last turn. ... Correia went down to the bullpen as the emergency pitcher in case the game kept going the night before. Was he warming up, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was asked? "No, he was freezing," Gardenhire quipped. ... Prized Orioles prospect Kevin Gausman, the fourth overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft, was diagnosed with a form of pneumonia, Showalter said, but the RHP should be able to resume pitching for Triple-A Norfolk as soon as hes feeling well again. ... The Twins announced their rained-out game against Detroit last Sunday will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on Aug. 23 when the Tigers make their next weekend trip to Target Field. ' ' '
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