The United States men’s national team, or USA Eagles as they are otherwise known, have the potential to be the surprise package of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The tournament gets underway on 18th September but the Eagles don’t play their opening match against Samoa until the 20th.
While the Eagles have been drawn in an extremely difficult group, they could surprise a few and will be quietly confident of defying the odds and winning some matches throughout the competition. In Pool B, they will also face Scotland, South Africa and Japan – the latter of these is the most winnable of their group stage fixtures.
Although Coral price the United States as an outside shot to beat Samoa in their opening encounter, the Eagles will feel that they are more than capable of getting a positive result from the game. Mike Tolkin’s side are young and won’t be afraid to adopt an attacking style of rugby, even if it means they will be open to the counter-attack.
The Eagles are blessed with a number of professionals that will bring crucial Premiership experience to the side. Eric Fry, Titi Lamositele and Thretton Palamo play for Newcastle Falcons, Saracens and London Welsh respectively, while captain Chris Wyles – who took over the captaincy after Todd Clever was axed from the side – also plays his club rugby for Sarries.
With those players in the side, they will stand a chance of causing an upset in each and every game that they participate in. Throughout the squad, the Eagles boast an incredible amount of pace and will be a major threat whenever they spread the ball out into the wide areas. With five former rugby sevens stars in the squad, the United States will be keen to attack as frequently as possible and use their speed to exploit opposing defences.
Defensively, the Eagles will be suspect and are likely to concede plenty of tries. While Pool B rivals Scotland and Japan rarely score tries against reasonable defences, they should unlock the United States line with relative ease. Their clash with Japan could be very high scoring and may be one to keep an eye out for on the television.
The United States are a proud nation and they will give their all in each and every match throughout the tournament. It is incredibly unlikely that they will progress to the knockout stages but there is a slight chance that they could win a Pool B game. They will receive plenty of support and, with a bit of luck, they could topple Japan or even Scotland in what would be one of the biggest shocks of the competition.