The countdown is on to the most important eight days of rugby in North America since 2009. The USA Eagles will take on Canada at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday August 17 while the return fixture will be played at BMO Field in Toronto on Saturday August 24. The importance of the matches is such that the winner on aggregate will qualify directly for Rugby World Cup 2015 as Americas 1 while the runner-up will face South America´s top qualifier, Uruguay, home and away in November. Both competing North American teams are looking to book their place in the World Cup as soon as possible which is certain to make for some must see test rugby.
Both unions are putting a lot of resources into promoting their respective home fixture. The choice of venues raised more than a few questions with the relatively small Charleston being allocated the fixture rather than a host of much larger cities and stadiums across the country. The city, however, carries significant sentimental value to the USA Eagles. It was in Charleston in 2009 where the USA last defeated Canada. It was the first of two Rugby World Cup 2011 Qualification matches and the USA was the better side in winning 12-6. Canada, though, turned the tide in the return match in Edmonton, Alberta by running out 41-18 winners. Since then the USA has had mroe than one opportunity to win against Canada but has tended to fallen off late in the matches.
Unlike the 2009 fixture next weekends match will be played at night. Tickets for the fixture start at $15 and information on how to obtain them can be seen on the following video. Charleston is certain to deliver a good festivcal atmosphere as it did in 2009.