High praise from Canada must not lull Ireland into a false sense of World Cup security, prop Nathan White has warned.
Ireland are fully expected to ease through their Pool D opener in Cardiff on Saturday, with Canada coach Kieran Crowley already tipping Joe Schmidt’s side to top the group standings.
Crowley believes a third-place finish in Pool D would prove a successful return for Canada, but Connacht tighthead White has warned against Ireland taking the clash lightly.
“You don’t go out there in international rugby aiming to come second,” said White of Canada’s apparent World Cup realism.
“They’ve got nothing to lose have they? We have to bring a very good game to the park.
“The Ireland team over the last two years have developed habits that are all about the process, and things will take care of themselves off the back of that.
“For me personally, if I get onto the field it would be my fourth cap.
“So that’s hugely exciting, and I don’t take anything for granted whatsoever.
“We’ve got to go out there, do our jobs and do them well.”
Canada’s influential flanker Tyler Ardron now looks set to beat his knee injury in time to face Ireland this weekend.
The Ospreys loose forward had been a doubt for the match, but head coach Crowley is now hopeful the 24-year-old will be ready for action.
“We have just been monitoring his situation,” said Crowley. “We will make a final call tomorrow but he’s progressing really well.”
New Zealand-born front-rower White became Ireland’s third oldest debutant of all time in the 28-22 warm-up Test victory over Scotland in Dublin last month.
The 34-year-old conceded he simply remains proud to have forged a Test career, let alone forced his way into Ireland’s World Cup ranks.
“It was probably only halfway through this year that the World Cup first came into my mind,” said White, who swapped Waikato for Ireland in 2011.
“I came to Leinster on a one-year deal, I took a gamble to leave New Zealand and to just see how things went.
“I was lucky enough that Connacht offered me a three-year deal after that.
“Maybe the start of last season when I qualified to play for Ireland was the first time Test rugby came into my mind.
“Before I left New Zealand I spoke to Joe Schmidt (then Leinster coach), who said ’we’ll give you a chance if you want to come. It’s up to you but we’ll give you a chance’.
“So it’s a huge honour to be able to represent Ireland now, there’s a lot of expectation, I’ll do my job the best I can and hopefully we can make people happy.”