Thursday, July 24, 2014

Eagles To Face Romania, Tonga, & Fiji In November


The Eagles have learned the rest of the November schedule after the IRB came out with a full list of Tier II November fixtures today. In addition to playing the All Blacks on November 1st and Soldier Field they will play Romania in Bucharest on November 8th, Tonga on November 15th at a location to be determined in Europe, and Fiji in Vannes, France on November 21st.  It's the first time the team has played four matches in Europe in ages.

When all is said and done the Eagles will have played every other Pacific Nations Cup team this year except for Samoa. All three of the European matches will be challenging but the two matches against Tonga and Fiji will be the most difficult. The U.S. has only beaten Fiji once in five tries and Tonga once in six tries. The last time the U.S. played Fiji was last summer where they lost 35-10 in Japan. They also lost to Tonga last summer 18-9 in Los Angeles.

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The good news is that they have a very winnable fixture against Romania. The last time they player Romania was back in the fall of 2012 where they won convincingly 34-3 in Bucharest. (Note: That happened to be the last match for Paul Emerick.) Winning on the road is difficult but as the Eagles have shown on their last two tours where they picked up two wins each, they can play well in Europe.

Four matches is a good run out for the team but don't expect them to field their top side in all four matches. By hosting the All Blacks outside of the test window the U.S. are going to have to make sacrifices in terms of player selection. Either their top players won't be released by their Premiership teams (remember, Northampton were fined a large amount for releasing George North last year) or an arrangement will be made where they head back to their clubs early. That said, the expectation is that they will be together for at least a couple of matches.

Other notable matches involving Tier II nations this fall include Fiji vs. Wales, Ireland vs. Georgia, England vs. Samoa, Scotland vs. Tonga,  France vs. Fiji, and Italy vs. Samoa. Canada will have three fixtures in Europe against Namibia, Samoa, and Romania.
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What do you make of the schedule?

3 comments:

  1. Why are these matches in europe instead of one of the home countries? Who stands to make money from them?

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  2. this may be a stupid question but it was never explained to me and no one ever told me, who picks these test matches and why do the eagles have to play every fall in europe? because rugby is still a small sport in the americas shouldnt these games be played here?

    does fifa make usa play spain in italy, NO. in fact does fifa even say SO BETWEEN THESE MONTHS AND THESE MONTHS YOU CAN ONLY PLAY GAMES THAT MATTER, ANYTHING OUT SIDE OF THAT WE WONT RECOGNIZE.

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    Replies
    1. Before the World Cup, Mexico played Ecuador in Dallas. It isn't unknown.

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