Like Canada, the United States have secured themselves an exiciting tour of Europe this november involving matches against Portugal and Georgia, two european national teams who competed at Rugby World Cup 2007, as well as a match vs Scotland A. It is the first tour of Europe that the USA Eagles will have done since Rugby World Cup 2007. The reasons for this are that in November 2008 the USA toured Japan for two tests and in November 2009 the USA played home and away vs Uruguay in the final round of the Americas section of qualification for New Zealand 2011.
This november´s tour will be nothing less than groundbreaking because it is to be the first time the USA Eagles have embarked on a tour of this kind and no a winable three match tour. In fact, the United States have only ever faced Georgia once, in the 2009 Churchill Cup in which the USA Eagles won 31-13 in Denver. Portugal have hosted the USA once before, back in 1998 with the USA winning 61-5 in what is the only ever international match between the two countries. There has been one game between the USA and Scotland A which was played in 2007 with the Europeans winning a low scoring match 13-9.
The revolutionary tour is fantastic news for USA rugby and for rugby in the Americas. November tours by the USA Eagles to Europe have traditionally been against the likes of Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales with the visitors merely being used as a warm-up for stiffer compeition from the likes of Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The United States will be targetting three wins for the tour and will obtain crucial experience ahead of next years Rugby World Cup.
Hopefully the tour can serve as a model for the future and future Canada / United States tours to Europe are similar. Tours of this kind to South America should certainly be organized too.
November 13, Portugal vs USA, Lisbon
November 19, Scotland A vs USA, Netherdale, Galashiels
November 28 Georgia vs USA, Tblissi