Following an alignment camp in Glendale, CO the USA Men’s Eagles will begin their Rugby World Cup Final Qualification Tournament preparations in South Africa as they compete under the USA Falcons name on October 14 and 21 as part of the Toyota Challenge at Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Competing as the USA Falcons, with these fixtures not being test matches and the entirety of the player pool not available, the USA will face off against the Toyota Cheetahs, a professional side competing in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and the Airlink Pumas of the Currie Cup. Streaming details for the Toyota Challenge matches and Final Qualification Tournament will be announced shortly.
USA MEN’S FALCONS MATCH SCHEDULE
Friday, October 14, 2022 | 12:00 PM ET
Toyota Cheetahs vs USA Men’s Falcons
Friday, October 21, 2022 | 11:00 AM ET
Airlink Pumas vs USA Men’s Falcons
Men’s Eagles Head Coach Gary Gold said: “It is an amazing opportunity to bring our side out and compete in the inaugural Toyota Challenge. This is a wonderful opportunity to bring together players who have competed in the MLR the first half of the year, and offers them the opportunity to play against some of the best provincial teams in South Africa. This experience will be unique to quite a few of the players who have not spent much time playing rugby outside of the United States, and an important set of fixtures for our qualifier preparations.”
The Toyota Challenge will form part of the Men’s Eagles preparation for the Rugby World Cup qualifier this November in Dubai, in which they will compete against Hong Kong, Kenya and Portugal for the final place in Rugby World Cup 2023. A majority of the Men’s Eagles player pool reconvened in Glendale, CO last month for a multi-week training assembly to align on fitness and conditioning goals before taking the pitch in match play. An important precursor the team has been without in the previous year and something Coach Gold and staff have taken full advantage of. 30 players from the Glendale assembly will make up the Falcons player pool in South Africa, while Alex Cullen Maughan and Ethan McVeigh will join a USA development squad in Uruguay for two matches against Uruguay XV and Argentina XV. Those two fixtures will be played on Oct 13 and Oct 18 respectively.
Gold continued, “Our first job is to win in November, so it’s all about preparation and time together at this point. One of the biggest takeaways from our previous qualifier series is the importance of proper preparation and assembly before going into these high-pressure situations. We want to give our guys the absolute best opportunity to succeed and that comes through time together, both in training and in competition.”
Following the exhibition matches in South Africa, the USA will head right to Dubai for their final qualification series and will be joined by pool players currently in-season with European clubs.
USA MEN’S FALCONS | TOYOTA CHALLENGE PLAYER POOL
|Nate||Augspurger||San Diego Legion|
|Nick||Civetta||Rugby New York|
|Michael||De Waal||Austin Gilgronis|
|Jamason||Fa'anana-Schultz||Old Glory DC|
|Dylan||Fawsitt||Rugby New York|
|Kaleb||Geiger||Rugby New York|
|Cory||Gilliland-Daniel||Old Glory DC|
|Jack||Iscaro||Old Glory DC|
|Nathan||Sylvia||San Diego Legion|
|Duncan||Van Schalkwyk||Rugby ATL|
|Chance||Wenglewski||Rugby New York|
|Mitch||Wilson||New England FreeJacks|
|Benjamin||Bonasso||Rugby New York|