The USA Eagles came out on top in the battle of the super-powers when they beat Russia the Bears narrowly 13-6 in New Zealand 2011. This was the Eagles only win, but they did produce some stirring performances as they went down to Ireland by 22-10 and Italy 27-10. The only team to put them away being Australia 67-5. The great news for USA was that they were able to take a try from each of the big boys. With the progression of Sevens rugby it will be interesting to see if the 15 man game can progress and so we see the Eagles as a qualifier for 2015 in England.
The USA have beaten Uruguay to reach the 2011 Rugby World Cup having lost to Canada in America's qualifying. The win against Uruguay secured the Americas 2 spot and the Eagles have achieved their sixth appearance in seven World Cup tournaments. This was easier than qualifying for RWC 2003, after coming third in the America's qualifying tournament, they missed out on automatic passage and had to face Spain in the last chance repecharge playoff. The Eagles came away with a 120-26 aggregate victory after the two legs.
1995 was the only year so far that the USA missed out on appearing at the games biggest stage. The Eagles first Rugby World Cup match win came in 1987, a 21-18 defeat of Japan, and they beat them again 39-26 in Australia 2003.
USA rugby struggles against American Football, Basketball and Baseball for the better sportsmen of the country. The era of professionalism and the increasing popularity of the game at college level, means more players are starting and sticking with the game. But it is still and will probably always be a long way behind the other sports in funding and support, though Sevens inclusion in the Olympics will increase the funding for that area of the game which should eventually impact the fifteen man game.
The USA Eagles have new shirts in time for the World Cup in 2011. The home shirt moves away from the traditional colours and is white with red piping and blue under the arms. The alternate is blue with white piping and red under arms. The shirt also features the slim fit style and a low profile collar. The shirt manufactured by Canterbury can be seen and purchased through the USA Shirts page.
The Eagles are currently ranked 16th in the world out of the 95 test playing rugby nations. Although the USA went winless in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, they will be looking to go one better and beat Russia the new boys to the competition. CEO Nigel Melville recently hired Eddie O'Sullivan as the new head coach to bring the Eagles through the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The other teams they face in Pool 'C' are Australia, Ireland and Italy.