Canadian forward Justin Blanchet to miss Rugby World Cup due to injury

Forward Justin Blanchet will miss the Rugby World Cup after suffering an injury in Canada's final warmup game for the tournament that starts Sept. 20 in Japan.

The 26-year-old flanker from Montreal was hurt in the ninth minute of Canada's 20-15 loss to the U.S. on Saturday at Vancouver's B.C. Place Stadium. He left the field after being injured in a collision at the breakdown.

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Rugby Canada did not specify the injury.

Josh Larsen of Parksville, B.C., replaces Blanchet on coach Kingsley Jones' 31-man roster, which has left for Japan.

"I am gutted for my mate, but am ecstatic about the opportunity," the 25-year-old Larsen said in a statement issued by Rugby Canada.

The six-foot-five 240-pound Larsen has won 12 caps for Canada. The six-foot-four Blanchet has six caps.

Forward Kyle Baillie, also injured in the 20-15 loss to the Americans, did travel with the team to Japan. Canada, ranked 22nd in the world, opens Sept. 26 against No. 14 Italy in Fukuoka City.

© Deloraine Times & Star

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