USA National Rugby Union Team
In the home of gridiron, the USA rugby team are unlikely heroes. A niche sport it may be, but rugby and American sports culture turn out to be a good blend. It’s helped by well-matched competition with the neighbours from the north, and an exciting player base. The Eagles are building a reputation for fast, confident and expansive play that’s high on entertainment value. So why not check out this season’s fixture list and choose your USA Rugby Union Tickets at StubHub!
Rugby in the USA? You betcha!
If anyone is tempted to write off the United States as a rugby nation, remind them that the US team were the reigning Olympic champions for over 90 years! They won the title in 1920 and 1924, before the sport lost its place at the Games. Rugby sevens debuted in Rio in 2016, with both men’s and women’s US teams qualifying, and there’s much sevens skill on show in the Eagles’ 15-a-side game. Handling skills, pace and a run-it-from-anywhere adventure also show the benefits to rugby of a rich sports culture, with players bringing transferable skills from other sports.
British club tours have also done much to grow the game in US cities, with London Irish and Harlequins among the teams to play preseason games and lead coaching sessions. Involvement in the Pacific Nations Cup also benefits the team’s development, showing they can compete with the physical presence and intense tackling of the Fijians and Tongans, and qualification for the 2015 World Cup was earned with a tough two-leg tie against Uruguay. But US rugby will always remain typically North American – where else would you find teams called San Diego Breakers or Denver Stampede?
The Eagles have spread their rugby wings against some notable opposition, including matches against a New Zealand Maori XV, and a close 24-19 game against a Harlequins side – in the first half, a turnover, quick thinking by fly-half AJ MacGinty and a speedy finish by Thretton Palamo showed what the team can do against quality opposition.
Even in defeat – as against Japan in the 2015 World Cup – spirited performances have shown the team’s potential. Audacious miss-passes delighted the Kingsholm crowd and set up Takudzwa Ngwenya and Chris Wyles for memorable tries. So far, the crowning achievement has come in sevens, when the US overturned Australia 45-22 to win the 2015 London Sevens Cup.
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