Carpenter named as Canada's new captain
PLYMOUTH Albion number eight Aaron Carpenter has been named as Canada's captain for their summer Test matches.
Carpenter will skipper his country against the USA on June 9, Italy on June 15 and Georgia on June 23.
The Albion star, who has earned 42 caps for his country, is honoured to be handed the role.
"I never expected it, but I am very happy," said Carpenter.
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"Coach Crowley sat me down a few weeks ago and asked me if I would be comfortable being captain, and of course, I said 'yes'."
He added: "I'm not the greatest at pre-match speeches, but I am happy to do them when they are needed to fire the team up."
Canada's first Test match against Italy will be played in Toronto.
Carpenter was brought up in Ontario and so is he expected a good turnout to support him in his new role.
"I am from Brantford and went to university in Hamilton, so I should have plenty of family members and friends in the crowd," he said.
"It is a rare opportunity to play a home Test in Canada, and to captain the side will be even more special."
Carpenter will return to Albion after the internationals and the number eight is optimistic about the team's chances next season.
The back-row forward felt the team suffered last year from all the changes and off the field problems at the club.
"It was a very difficult season, but you can only play the hand you are dealt," Carpenter told Rugby Canada.
"I have a two-year contract, so I am hoping next year we can turn it around.
"We should be pushing up into mid-table and even for promotion. Hopefully, some stability can help us next season."
Carpenter is one of just nine players Albion coach Nat Saumi has confirmed will be at the club next season.
Those announcements were made on May 15.
It is believed other players have signed for Albion, but Saumi have so far refused to make any more comments on how his preparations for next season are going.
However, The Herald understands that Ryan Westren will not be moving to Brickfields, despite intense speculation.
It is believed Westren, who finished last season at London Scottish having started it at the Cornish Pirates, did talk to Albion but has not signed a deal with them.
ALBION are set to make their first trip to Jersey for a league rugby game on November 3.
Jersey, newly-promoted to the Championship, have published their provisional fixture list for 2012-13.
According to the Channel Island side they will entertain Albion the first Saturday in November before visiting Brickfields on March 9, 2013.
Leeds have also announced their fixture list. They are due to visit Albion on the weekend of September 15 – the three match of the season – before entertaining Nat Saumi's side at Headingley on the weekend of January 5.
Albion plan to announce their fixture list later on this week.