Thursday, February 13, 2014

USA set to face Canada and Japan in Sacramento and Hawaii

Hornet Stadium. Sacramento, CA

Argentina 2023 friend Curtis Reed has learned that the likely locations for the USA Eagles´ home matches in June against Canada and Japan are to be Hawaii and California. With the test against Scotland being played in Houston and Uruguay set to play a Rugby World Cup Qualifier in Atlanta the home agenda for 2014 is therefore all but confirmed.

The international season is to begin earlier than usual due to the USA and Uruguay facing-off home and away in March to determine who will join Samoa, Scotland, South Africa and the winner of Asian qualification in Pool B of Rugby World Cup 2015. The matches are to be played in Montevideo and Atlanta on March 22 and 29. The USA will have full access to players based abroad for the fixtures. 

International competition will continue in June with the USA hosting three fixtures - two of which will be a part of the 2014 Pacific Nations Cup and the third will be the biggest match of the year as the USA looks to defeat a brittle Scottish team. The match is scheduled for June 14 and although the dates have not been announced it is likely that the USA will host Japan on June 14 which is the date in which Canada will face Scotland in Toronto. 

Canada will begin international competition for the year by hosting Japan in Vancouver on June 7 as part of the Pacific Nations Cup. In other words the yet to be confirmed date for the USA v Canada fixture is highly likely to be June 21. Exactly where the match will be played is yet to be made official but Reed suggests that Hornet Stadium in Sacramento is the logical location after the Californian capital has been strongly linked to hosting the fixture. 

In between facing Scotland at BBVA Stadium in Houston the USA´s match against Japan has been linked to Hawaii. In what would be a very interesting choice given its isolation from the continental U.S. the fixture would, nonetheless, attract interest due to the state having produced notable players and to the historical background between Japan and the islands during World War II. Reed contends that the probable enue would be Aloha Stadium in Halawa

Both Aloha Stadium and Hornet Stadium are American Football venues with appropriate facilities to host international rugby. While the location of Halawa could be described as isolated Sacramento is far from it. In addition to being a highly accessible city it is located close to the Bay Area which is a rugby hot spot in the USA. With Houston and Atlanta also hosting and the USA also tipped to host the All Blacks in late October in Chicago the USA rugby adrministration is looking to grow the game by taking test matches to different parts of the country. 

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