He's been a hardworking lock and blindside flanker and after the injuries to Liam Polwart, Tanerau Latimer and Mike Delany, an inspirational captain too.

But Tyler Ardon's future in a Bay of Plenty Steamers jersey after today's match against Northland is uncertain.

The big Canadian leaves the country next Thursday to go home for his national team's training camp ahead of their Rugby World Cup qualifiers.

"There's the final four teams which is Canada, Kenya, Germany and Hong Kong and one goes to the World Cup so hopefully we can be that one," Ardron says.

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Having to even play this repechage tournament to find the 20th and final team for Japan next year must be galling for Canada.

The country has been at every Rugby World Cup since 1987 and even made the quarter-finals in 1991.

But after losing to the United States and Uruguay in the Americas zone qualifying, they've been forced to this tournament of last resort in Marseille, France next month.

Ardron was Canada's captain at the 2015 event in England and Wales.

Originally from Ontario, he started playing professionally at Ospreys in Wales five years ago but was noticed by New Zealander Neil Barnes, who was then Canada's forwards coach.

Ospreys' Tyler Ardron takes the ball from a lineout during the Guinness PRO12 Round 20 match between Cardiff Blues and Ospreys at Principality Stadium in April. 2017. Photo / Getty Images
Ospreys' Tyler Ardron takes the ball from a lineout during the Guinness PRO12 Round 20 match between Cardiff Blues and Ospreys at Principality Stadium in April. 2017. Photo / Getty Images

When Barnes returned home to become assistant coach at the Chiefs, he encouraged Ardron to come with him to play Super Rugby.

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The lead-in to that was the 2017 season with the Steamers before he started with the Chiefs. There is one more year on his Chiefs contract but if Canada, as expected, make the Rugby World Cup, Ardron won't be in Mount Maunganui next season.

But that's not to say what might happen in 2020 and beyond.

"If we qualify then the Steamers next year will be out of the question. But there's lots of years to go in my career I hope," says the 27-year-old.

"I'm out of contract at the end of the Super Rugby season and we'll see where we go. I love it here."

He's determined to finish this otherwise disappointing Steamers 2018 campaign on a high at Tauranga Domain.

"We've still got our families to make proud and ourselves as well," he says.

"So it's not as if it's a nothing game. We've got our home fans and we're going to do ourselves proud."

Bay of Plenty can't make the top four in the Mitre 10 Cup Championship after winning just three of nine matches so far this season, and securing only four bonus points.

"We're pretty disappointed not to make the semifinals with some of the injuries we've had during the season. We've had a good last few days which has brought the spirits back up so we're really hoping to finish strong and put the results right."

He likes the look of some of the new young faces from the champion Bay of Plenty Under-19 team like Emoni Narawa, Lalomilo Lalomilo and Cole Forbes who may see some action today.

"A few new faces there in the backs which is exciting because you never know what they can bring. I'm sure there'll be some loose ball, there'll be some mistakes but there'll be some X-factor as well which everyone will like."

Even if he doesn't play in the blue and yellow jersey again, Ardron will be remembered as an honest hardworking tight-loose forward whose made a substantial contribution to the Steamers' cause over the last two seasons.

Local fans will wish him well in his Rugby World Cup ambitions next month.

"I'll have a little break after the repechage so I'll be back ready to go for the next Super Rugby season.

Tyler Ardron playing for the Chiefs in Cape Town, South Africa in May. Photo / Getty Images
Tyler Ardron playing for the Chiefs in Cape Town, South Africa in May. Photo / Getty Images