USA Eagles Begin Their Campaign to Rugby World Cup 2015

With only six weeks to go until the kick off of rugby unions greatest show piece under the floodlights at Twickenham, England, it is time for the aspiring nations to get their houses in order. The challenge that faces these nations will be daunting but as the old adage goes proper preparation prevents poor performance. The USA Eagles begin their campaign to Rugby World Cup 2015 this weekend with the start of the Pacific Nations Cup alongside Fiji, Samoa, Japan and North American rivals Canada. Running between the 18th July and 3rd August across three different countries; Fiji, USA and Canada, it will be the perfect preparation for the USA before the battles on the world stage.

Pool B awaits the USA, Japan and Samoa as well as favourites to top the group South Africa and the traditional powerhouse of northern hemisphere rugby, Scotland. This adds an extra incentive to the Pacific Nations Cup as the US will first play Samoa (18th July) and then Japan (24th July) before rounding off with a round three fixture versus Tonga (29th July) with finals being played on the 3rd August. It is imperative that the US meet the challenges posed by both Samoa and Japan head on in order to gain the upper hand for the more important World Cup fixtures.

Confidence built throughout the Pacific Nations Cup will be at a premium once the USA land upon England’s shores looking to eradicate a disappointing Rugby World Cup record. With only three Rugby World Cup victories including their first ever win against Japan in 1987, the proud sporting nation will believe that this year’s tournament provides ample opportunities to add a couple more W’s to that tally. The Pacific Nations Cup will certainly allow the pedigree of all of these sides to be put to the test.

Preparations for the World Cup warm games could not have been better for the USA with an exciting summer and autumn of rugby to look forward to. The squad that has been announced for the Pacific Nations Cup sees 15 of the 32 currently compete professionally overseas including newly promoted captain Chris Wyles. The Saracens winger will assume the mantle of captaincy as the squad prepare to face Samoa taking over the role from the enigmatic character that is Todd Clever who remains with the side. Fresh from helping Saracens achieve the Aviva Premiership title and guiding the USA 7’s to qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games he will be looking to challenge against the best in world rugby. Four more recruits from that successful 7’s side will join up with their new captain in the hope of facing Samoa, Danny Barrett, Folau Niua, Zack Test and Brett Thompson.

Samoa will be head to the first test against the USA on the back of their historic test match against the All Black in Apia. Despite a 25-16 defeat they will have left Samoa with the support of a nation as they battled hard against what is undeniably one of, if not the best side in world rugby. With that weight of expectation they will be aiming to be the side that usurps Scotland and South Africa to make the World Cup quarter finals. First though they must contend with a USA side riding the crest of a wave as rugby begins to emerge as a significant presence in the US. Both sides will be looking to lay down markers before the World Cup but first and foremost a winning start to a huge period of time for rugby is paramount.

Main Photo