These past two weekends saw the USA Eagles advance to the next round of World Cup qualifying after comeback win in their series against Canada. The series started off with an upset by the Canadians on their home turf in St. Johns, with the Eagles falling 21-34. However, they managed to rebound in the home stretch, beating Canada 38-16 in Glendale, Colorado. With that win, they achieved a 59-50 series win, which gets them into the battle with Uruguay for Americas 1 at the World Cup.
Two Old Glory player were involved the series, both for the USA Eagles. Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz, having appeared in the summer test against England, started both matches. Though he plays at number eight for Old Glory, he has been playing as a flanker for the national team. He performed well, scoring a try in the first match. However, his overall performance was soured by receiving two yellow cards in the second match.
Mike Dabulas, also known as “Chicken”, debuted in the last few minutes of the second match. He travelled with the Eagles on their tour in the British Isles this summer, but he wasn’t selected for any matchday rosters. Instead, he picked up his first cap for the national team this past weekend. Hopefully it is the start of a long and successful career with the national team for the young fullback.
Hooker Mikey Sosnene-Feagai, who was selected for the travelling roster, did not travel with the team. He took a temporary position in the Top 14 as a medical joker, which prevented him from being available for the Eagles.
The USA team will next play Uruguay in October for the Americas 1 spot at the 2023 World Cup. If they win the home-and-away series, they will qualify. If they lose, then they will play the winner Canada vs Chile for a chance at the Americas 2 spot.