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USA U18 Boys Team Drops Two in Uruguay

irish rugby tours

USA U18 Boys Team Drops Two in Uruguay

The USA U18s in Uruguay.

The USA U18s lost both of their round-robin games today in Uruguay.

The U18s faced Chile in their opening shortened game today, losing 34-7 to a very speedy Condors side.

They USA U18s then fielded a different 15 against Uruguay and battled hard but lost 20-10, hurt by a couple of yellow cards. Chile played much faster rugby, while Uruguay was physically imposing.

“This tour is a different approach for us,” said USA Rugby Head of Men’s High-Performance Pathways Brendan Keane. “We know it’s a really steep learning curve in South America and we saw that when we took the Hawks team down there and we [expected] the same with the U18s. That’s the point. The players have to learn how to adjust to different opposition, different referees, and different environments.”

USA Rugby made the decision to not go to the Corendon Summer Tour after two trips to that tournament in the Netherlands. During that time they went 5-0-1 and won the tournament both times. But winning games against the likes of Czechia is not the plan. Said Keane, if the USA U18s are winning games then they probably aren’t playing the right opposition.

 “The longer-term plan is not to necessarily win on this tour—you always train and play to win but that’s not the plan,” said Keane. “We’re trying to prepare them to win in 2031 and to find the guys who are going to be those 2031 players.”

Interestingly, this is the first time that every player invited to the U18 summer assembly said yes. As it turned out, one was unable to attend due to some academic commitments, but this was the first time every that every player could just say “yes I can do it.”

That was likely due to the U18 program now having consistent activities each of the last couple of summers, and it was also, said Keane, “thanks to some generous outside support meaning we’ve been able t o provide the lowest cost we’ve ever had.”

Next up for the USA U18s they will cross the border to Argentina and play the Buenos Aires Academy.