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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Eagles Americas Six Nations Schedule Coming Together


The U.S. National Team's schedule in the upcoming Americas Six Nations, which will likely be known as the Americas Rugby Cup, is slowly coming together. U.S.A. Rugby has been tight-lipped about the competition but both the Brazilian Rugby Union and the solid folks at Americas Rugby News have been coming out with more details. According to a release by the BRU the U.S. is scheduled to play Brazil in Sao Paulo on February 27th. That's the only specific date that is out there but the U.S. will also apparently be hosting Uruguay at some point according to reporting from Paul Tait.

We've also been able to learn from sources (and confirm what Paul previously noted) that the U.S. will host three matches with Uruguay being one of the incoming teams. Due to the season, the tournament will run from February 6th-March 19th, warm weather locations in California, Texas, and Florida are being scouted. Don't expect big stadiums but smaller, closer to 10,000 seat stadiums, to host the matches. Despite it being a release window the U.S., Canada, and Argentina are all expected to field teams devoid of their European professionals.

Take the jump to read more.
Reasonable speculation should lead to multiple games when the U.S. travels down to Brazil. It wouldn't make financial sense to send the U.S. down one week at a time to South America. It makes much more sense to have them play their remaining two matches on the same trip.

It's also reasonable to assume that certain teams will be paired with each other for travel purposes. For example, if Uruguay comes to the U.S. it would make sense that they would play Canada the week before or the week after. When Uruguay is playing one of the U.S. or Canada their companion team, say Chile, would be playing the other team. The same thing for the U.S. and Canada heading down to South America together. Those travel partners would then play each other to round out the schedule.

There is still more to come and a lot will be decided after the World Cup but it's something to keep an eye on. 

4 comments:

  1. Count me as skeptical. This tournament strikes me as adding little value to the development of the Eagles or creating valuable commercial opportunities. With all due respect Chile and Brazil offer nothing in terms of legitimate competition - and if they do then boy have we got problems. If only 23 K are willing to see the # 2 team in the world how are you going to get anyone interested in Uruguay, Brazil or Chile when they come traveling through?

    I am also concerned that this will doom the PNC before it has been given a chance to flourish. And this does have value for the Eagles from a competitive perspective as well as for commercial appeal.

    Rather than come up with another competition WR should throw it's weight behind making the PNC a great competition - slot this tournament into the international calendar so we can get our best on the field playing great teams.

    If the America's 6 Nations supplants the PNC this a loss for the development of the game for the US.

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    1. The PNC was never supposed to flourish. It is a stop-gap tournament to get T2 nations - which do not fit neatly into the European or Southern Hemisphere international match release windows - more matches.

      The Americas are officially in the European Test match window . Players can easily get released from their pro clubs during this window for test play according to existing agreements. Thus, the 6N/E6N window works for the A6N teams and it can be marketed in the home countries without skipping too many time zones (if any at all). It may take some time to market them stateside, but for about a half mil per season, it might even get to a 20:1 broadcast ratio

      Argentina is the Emerging T1 in the A6N. It's presence ensures that T2s Canada, Uruguay, & USA get a at least one T1 every year. Additionally, Argentina gets to cap more players by playing a near 'A' side against Chile & Brazil.

      Brazil and Chile also present opportunities for the US and Canada to play their domestic players on the road (much needed experience) without worrying too much about a loss.

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  2. How do you propose "slotting the PNC" into the international calendar? You're not flying players to the Pacific Islands or Japan from Europe multiple times in the 6N window (February-March). Same goes for the time during the Rugby Championship window. And of course June and November are too short for a full fledged competition.

    Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are good competition until we get better but they are never going to offer any commercial potential and there is a reason this same exact competition failed before in the form of the Epsom Cup. It's a ton of travel, doesn't draw huge crowds and 3 of the teams come from countries with a combined total population less than that of a top 50 US metro area and a GDP per capitas outside the top 100 countries in the world. There is also no precedent in any other sport for competition with these countries.

    On the other hand, Pan-American competition is well established in other sports to the point of a regional mini-Olympics. Brazil and Argentina offer large economies while Chile and Uruguay offer smaller economies that are still orders of magnitude larger than the Pacific Island countries. And while Brazil has a long way to go in rugby, the sport is on the rise there. In fact, in every country that is a part of the A6N, rugby is growing. You can't say the same in the PNC, where rugby is between stagnant and backtracking in Japan and fully saturated in the Pacific Islands.

    Meanwhile, you should probably check on the facts regarding Chile before you dismiss them so easily. They beat Uruguay this year, they are 1-1 against us all time (both matches in 2002) and they have beaten both Canada and Japan at the U20 level in the past 3 years. Hardly a team to be so condescending towards.

    If the PNC fails, it will be replaced with further home test matches in the June window, probably mostly against the PNC teams and possibly Georgia and Romania. So ultimately it won't be a huge loss as the replacement is of near equal value. The A6N will be in the February-March window so it's just additional matches that wouldn't otherwise happen. And what is likely to happen in that window is that the European pros will be available against Argentina and Canada while the domestic guys get their shot against the other teams. Sounds like a perfect scenario for player development to me.

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  3. The A6N will offer more games for US athletes where they can earn caps. Caps make US athletes eligible for foreign pro leagues. The A6N will facilitate much more elite rugby playing time at a level above the top club level in the US.

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