St. Albert prop Andy Tiedemann will earn his second cap in as many weeks when Canada scrums down against the Georgia Lelos in today’s opening round of the Churchill Cup in Glendale, Colorado.
The high school rugby product of the Paul Kane Blues drew rave reviews from Team Canada head coach Kieran Crowley about his baptism by fire against Wales in last Saturday’s test match at York Stadium in Toronto.
“The prop he marked on in the Wales test [Duncan Jones] was a veteran of 50 internationals [and] he has propped against the best players in the world,” Crowley said at Thursday’s news conference. “We thought Andrew really acquitted himself well. We worked hard this week on some technical aspects because he is a person who has played the majority of his rugby at loosehead and he has been converted to tighthead.”
In the 32-23 loss to Wales the St. Albert Rugby Football Club first division player was subbed off in the 60th minute.
“He came through that first game with a lot of experience that he will grow from. We just think that he is improving all the time,” Crowley said. “There is no substitute for going out and actually doing it. When you look at a team like Georgia, their whole forwards’ pack is very experienced and well drilled. They are used to playing in the top level in France so it is going to be a big battle for him, but we are confident that he can do the job.”
Tiedemann, 20, will line up in the front row with veteran loosehead Kevin Tkachuk (Glasgow Warriors), who will gain his 48th cap against Georgia, and hooker Pat Riordan.
Tiedemann didn’t return phone calls to the Gazette at press time.
The standout with the University of Victoria Vikes drew the start against Wales after serving as a reserve in Canada’s 26-6 loss to Ireland at UBC Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver on May 23.
Tiedemann made his national team debut in 2005 with a U17 touring side against county and club teams in England. The next year he played for the Canada Youth 19 team during a four-match series on Vancouver Island.
Canada’s next match in the pool A draw at the Churchill Cup is Wednesday versus Ireland. The Argentina Jaguars, England Saxons and the United States make up pool B. The crossover playoffs are June 21.