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Who Are These Guys? The Eagle Summer Tour

irish rugby tours

Who Are These Guys? The Eagle Summer Tour

Photo World Rugby.

Saturday marks the beginning of the USA Men’s 15s summer tour with their match against Romania in Bucharest.

The Eagles will follow that up a week later with “Revenge on the Beach” as they take on Portugal in the resort town of Algarve. And then they traverse Europe once more to play Georgia in Tbilisi.

The Eagles have a long history with Romania, having played the Oaks in the 1924 Olympics. Over their 99-year history the two nations have played nine times, with the USA winning seven. Against Portugal they are 2-0-1 … that lone tie being the result that put Portugal into the Rugby World Cup and kept the USA out. Their record against Georgia is even at 3-3, with those games usually being nailbiters.

This tour is being played outside of the Regulation 9 window. What that means is professional clubs do no have to release their players to suit up for their national team, and (almost) all of the overseas pro clubs have opted to keep their players away. Normally August would be a Regulation 9 period, but not with the World Cup on the horizon.

So USA (interim) Head Coach Scott Lawrence, not one to whine about something he can’t control, has named a young team, including pulling Dom Besag off the USA U20 side to shore up the backline. 

Lawrence has also worked to spell out a new cultural approach within the team, one that leans heavily on pride in ther jersey. 

The character of the team, he told GRR, "is driven by what we believe to be ideal Eagles and ideal Eagles environments. Driven by a small group of current players and former Eagles, they are:

Love (the game, teammates, being an Eagle)

Hard Work (For each other and those you represent)

Energy (Positive and Impactful in the game, the environment, and in your legacy as an Eagle)."

There are several veterans on this team, including one who has been capped 11 times for another country, so this is not a completely new squad. However, there are also about 11 players who have never played international 15s before. There is some significant international experience in the coaching staff that's worth a look, too.

Check the links to look at each player and coach; who he is and where he comes from: