Rugby World Cup 2015: Canada aim to inspire a generation

Matt Evans
Matt Evans has won 29 caps for Canada and played in two games at the last World Cup in New Zealand
Rugby World Cup
Hosts: England Dates: 18 September-31 October
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Canada full-back Matt Evans hopes his side can inspire more people to play the sport in his homeland by performing well at the Rugby World Cup.

Evans, 27, will start against Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday.

"Our goal in the 15s programme is to do well at this World Cup and qualify for the next World Cup," he said.

"We want to give an incentive for the younger generation to know they've got a goal to reach because these are fantastic events."

British Columbia-born Evans, who played for his country at the last World Cup, in New Zealand, is one of three of Canada's team who ply their trade at English second-tier side Cornish Pirates, alongside forwards Brett Beukeboom and Aaron Carpenter.

Nine of Canada's 23-man squad to face Ireland play in Europe with the rest either playing for clubs in their homeland or looking for teams on this side of the Atlantic.

But Evans says he is confident there will be a bright future for the sport in Canada.

"It's growing and the sevens game has brought it on leaps and bounds," he told BBC Radio Cornwall.

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"With the Olympics now there's a lot of kids playing in high school and it's starting to take off."

Canada's first test of the World Cup will come in front of a crowd of well over 70,000 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Evans usually plays in fronts of crowds of between 1,000 and 3,000 in England's Championship.

"It's the most I've every played in front of and I'm pretty sure that's reciprocated throughout the squad, so it's an exciting time," he said.

"I've watched Test matches at the Millennium Stadium, so to be a part of one will be a great experience.

"You achieve a lot of things throughout a career, but only a select few can go to a World Cup.

"We've lost a few guys who would have been dead certs, but through injury haven't been able to come, so reaching this and going through the obstacles you have to like time, injury and selection, you've really got to regard it as the pinnacle of your career."