The Latest: Canada picks van der Merwe to play South Africa
TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Day 17 of the Rugby World Cup in Japan (all times local):
Canada has made six changes to its starting lineup for the Pool B game against South Africa but kept experienced winger DTH van der Merwe to play his first test against his country of birth.
Van der Merwe will set a Canadian record of 15 Rugby World Cup appearances and is bidding to join Brian Lima, Brian O’Driscoll, Gareth Thomas and Adam Ashley-Cooper as the only players to score a try at four World Cups.
In the changes following a 63-0 loss to New Zealand, Canada brought in a new front row of Hubert Buydens, Andrew Quattrin and Jake Ilnicki. Lock Kyle Baille makes his first World Cup appearance. Coach Kingsley Jones also drafted in scrumhalf Phil Mack and fullback Andrew Coe.
Canada lost 48-7 to Italy before the drubbing by the All Blacks.
Canada: Andrew Coe, Jeff Hassler, Conor Trainor, Ciaran Hearn, DTH van der Merwe, Peter Nelson, Phil Mack; Tyler Ardron (captain), Matt Heaton, Lucas Rumball, Kyle Baillie, Evan Olmstead, Jake Ilnicki, Andrew Quattrin, Hubert Buydens. Reserves: Benoit Piffero, Djustice Sears-Duru, Matt Tierney, Josh Larsen, Michael Sheppard, Jamie Mackenzie, Shane O’Leary, Guiseppe du Toit.
France has beaten Tonga 23-21 to join England in the quarterfinals and maintain its record of always reaching the knockout round.
France led 17-0 but Tonga pulled back to within two points after a converted try from flanker Zane Kapeli with one minute left in regulation.
England and France have three wins each and play to decide top spot in Pool C next Saturday.
France led 17-7 at halftime after left winger Alivereti Raka set up center Virimi Vakatawa and then created a try for himself with a kick and collect down the left flank.
Flyhalf Romain Ntamack converted both, after earlier landing a penalty goal.
Tonga replied with a converted try right on halftime by Sonatane Takulua, who peeled off the back of the scrum and just made it over the line. It was awarded following a video review.
Center Malietoa Hingano got a second converted try early in the second half, shortly after France flanker Charles Ollivon had a try disallowed when the Television Match Official showed lock Sebastien Vahaamahina feeding him a forward pass.
Two Ntamack penalties made it 23-14 with 20 minutes left.
Right winger Damian Penaud thought he had a try when he collected replacement scrumhalf Antoine Dupont’s short pass and went over in the right corner.
But referee Nic Berry ruled it out when the TMO showed fullback Medard’s arm slightly knocking the ball on when he spilled a high kick during the buildup.
Kapeli’s effort near fulltime proved to be too late to make a difference.