The Ormaecheas, Uruguay’s Diego and Agustín, may not be the only father and son combination to play on the world’s biggest stage if Canada’s latest back-row prospect gets another opportunity to shine at the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup and forces his way into coach Kieran Crowley's plans.

Thyssen de Goede, son of Canada’s Rugby World Cup 1987 captain Hans, made a favourable impression on his debut in the 20-6 defeat to Japan in San Jose last Saturday but has been rested for Friday’s game against Tonga.

Compared to Agustín Ormaechea, who looks certain to be picked at scrum-half and follow in the footsteps of his father, former Uruguay captain and coach Diego, the odds on De Goede being selected for RWC 2015 are much longer. Not that he is thinking that far ahead anyway.

“It would be really special (to play the World Cup), I’ve been working had to get where I am and I am fortunate enough just to be here (at the Pacific Nations Cup),” said De Goede. “I’m just taking it one day at a time and trying to perform to my best ability every day.”

Emotions run high

As a former Canada under-20 and sevens player, De Goede is no stranger to pulling on the Canadian jersey. However the 27-year-old from Victoria is not afraid to admit the occasion got to him last weekend.

“It was amazing, it’s hard to put into words how I felt. I felt a lot more emotional than I thought I would. When you’re on that 50-metre line and singing the national anthem, it kind of takes over from you a little bit; it was a very good feeling. There was definitely a lump in the throat and the eyes went a little watery.”

While disappointed with the result, De Goede thought he did himself justice on a personal level. “I felt really good, I defended well and I managed to get three to four carries in.”

Number one fan

Amsterdam-born Hans, who enjoyed a distinguished spell overseas with Cardiff in Wales as well as being capped 26 times by his adopted country, was in San Jose to see his son play.

“He is my number one fan and has always been a huge inspiration,” said De Goede junior. “He taught me hard work can get you a long way.”

The family connection with rugby does not stop at his dad, though, as step mum Steph White was Canada’s first-ever women’s captain and appeared in the inaugural Women’s Rugby World Cup.

“My brother and all my uncles and cousins play too, so it’s all in the blood line. Mental toughness is a bit of a family trait," he said.

“I get asked a lot if I was pushed into rugby but it just kind of happened, it was like I was destined to play rugby as soon as I started playing in high school on Vancouver Island.”

The support of his dad has helped Thyssen get through some tough times.

“A few years ago I dislocated my ankle and broke my fibula and I spent a year in rehabilitation and then had a year off to get my head straight. When you have a couple of bad ones your head goes down and it’s hard to think positively. But dad was my light at the other side of the tunnel.”

Canada v Tonga: Moonlight looks to add gold dust

Thyssen de Goede’s place in the Canadian back row for Friday's game against Tonga in Burnaby is taken by John Moonlight, who recently led the Canada sevens team to the gold medal at the Pan-American Games.

The only other changes to the starting line-up from the defeat to Japan come in the front row with Aaron Carpenter and Andrew Tiedemannreplacing Ray Barkwill and Doug Wooldridge at hooker and tight-head respectively.

Tonga have also resisted the temptation to make too many changes, despite the six-day turnaround.

Coach Mana Otai has changed both his half-backs with the more experienced Kurt Morath coming off the bench to partner Sonatane Takulua, who replaces the injured Taniela Moa at scrum-half. Sione Piukala gets a start at centre, while Tevita Mailau for Sona Taumalolo at prop is the only change to the 'Ikale Tahi's pack.

Canada won 36-27 the last time these two sides met, at the Pacific Nations Cup in 2013, and are on a four-game winning run against Tonga. 

USA v Japan: Tolkin shuffles his pack

USA coach Mike Tolkin has rewarded try-scoring prop Titi Lamositele, flanker Scott LaValla and scrum-half Mike Petri for the impact they made off the bench in the opening round 21-16 defeat to Samoa with starts against RWC 2015 opponents Japan.

Lamositele grabbed the Eagles’ only try in San Jose as the home side, energised by the arrival of second-half replacements, LaValla and Petri, threatened to come back from 21-3 down and record their first win over the Samoans.

Rookie fly-half AJ McGinty grew into the game as the match wore on and has retained his place in a backline that shows no other changes other than Petri for Suniula Shalom at nine.

Tolkin has overhauled his pack, however, with only Eric Fry, Hayden Smith and barnstorming number eight Danny Barrett retaining their places.


Japan’s starting XV for the game at Sacramento's Bonney Field shows eight changes and one positional switch from the side that started in the win against Canada.

With Michael Leitch one of five players currently en route to North America and Ayumu Goromaru given a rest, Kensuke Hatakeyama leads the side from tight-head prop.

While Hatakeyama forms an all new front row alongside Keita Inagaki and Takeshi Kizu, Hitoshi Ono and Luke Thompson keep their spots in the second row.

Flankers Michael Broadhurst and Justin Ives will also pack down for the second game in succession but there is a change at number eight with Ryu Koliniasi Holani set to win his 40th cap.

In the backs, Keisuke Uchida gets a rare start at scrum-half – his first for more than two years - and he will partner Harumichi Tatekawa, whose facial injury from the first game is not as bad as first feared.

Ryohei Yamanaka lines up at inside centre alongside Kotaro Matsushima, with Akihito Yamada and Karne Hesketh on the wings and Yoshikazu Fujita shifting from wing to full-back.

Japan have won the last five tests since they were beaten by the Eagles, 39-26, on Australia's Gold Coast at RWC 2003.

Fiji v Samoa: Qera returns to captain Fiji

Fiji and Samoa put their winning starts to PNC 2015 on the line when they meet in Sacramento.

Fiji coach John McKee has made six changes to the starting line-up that did just enough to see off Tonga, 30-22, with Akapusi Qera returning to lead the side at openside. Qera was rested from the Tonga game after receiving a blow to the leg in the one-point defeat to the Maori All Blacks, but has recovered sufficiently to reclaim the armband from Vereniki Goneva.

Goneva has a new midfield partner with Gabriele Lovobalavu coming in at 12 for Levani Botia. The other changes in the backs see Nemia Kenatale and Metuisela Talebula named at scrum-half and full-back respectively, meaning Ben Volavola, who kicked 15 points on debut against Tonga, gets another chance to impress at fly-half.

In the pack, loose-head Peni Ravai joins Sunia Koto and Manasa Saulo in the front row, while Api Ratuniyarawa forms a new second row partnership with Leone Nakarawa. As well as Qera, Peceli Yato is a new addition to the back row after making his debut against Tonga. Sakiusa Matadigo retains his place at number eight.

Five of Samoa's six changes to the starting line-up come in the backline with a new half-back pairing in Pele Cowley and Michael Stanley. Johnny Leota comes into the centres alongside Paul Perez with captain Alesana Tuilagi joined in the back three this time by Alofa Alofa and Fa'atoina Autagavaia.

The only change in the pack see Motu Matuu come in at hooker.

Fiji last defeated Samoa 36-18 in the Pacific Nations Cup in 2011 in Suva before Samoa dominated the show for the following three years, defeating Fiji 27-7 at RWC 2011, 29-26 in the PNC in 2012 in Japan and 18-13 in Suva last year.

The three Pacific Nations Cup matches will be streamed live on Click here for more details on where to watch the action unfold.