World ranking: 22nd
Best result: Quarter-finals 1991
TAB odds: $501
Chances: With the two bottom-ranked teams grouped with arguably the world's top two teams, big scores are on offer - which is bad news for the Canadians.
Victory over the shaky Italians would be a great result.
The 27-year-old captained Canada at the 2015 tournament and will again hope to lead by example in Japan. Ardron signed for the Chiefs in 2018 to become the first Canadian player to represent an NZ Super Rugby team - a key cog in their late playoff push.
He's Canada's most talented and versatile forward, capable of covering the second and back-row positions.
Forwards: Tyler Ardron (captain), Kyle Baillie, Justin Blanchet, Hubert Buydens, Luke Campbell, Matt Heaton, Eric Howard, Jake Ilnicki, Cole Keith, Conor Keys, Evan Olmstead, Benoit Piffero, Andrew Quattrin, Lucas Rumball, Djustice Sears-Duru, Mike Sheppard, Matthew Tierney.
Backs: Nick Blevins, Andrew Coe, Jeff Hassler, Ciaran Hearn, Ben LeSage, Phil Mack, Jamie Mackenzie, Gordon McRorie, Peter Nelson, Shane O’Leary, Patrick Parfrey, Taylor Paris, Conor Trainor, DTH van der Merwe.
Pool draw (NZT)
Italy v Canada, Fukuoka City, 7:45pm
New Zealand v Canada, Oita Prefecture, 11:15am (live)
South Africa v Canada, Kobe City, 11:15pm
Namibia vs Canada, Kamaishi City