April 4, 2014, TORONTO (ISN) – The Canadian men’s rugby team will play the U.S. on June 21 in Sacramento, Calif., as part of the IRB Pacific Nations Cup.
Canada’s other game in the tournament — against Japan on June 7 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C. — had been previously announced.
The contest against the U.S. Eagles will be played at the new Cal Expo Multi-Use Sports Field.
Canada is currently ranked 15th in the world, while Japan is No. 13 and the Americans are No. 18.
The other Pacific Nations Cup pool features No. 8 Samoa, No. 11 Fiji and No. 12 Tonga.
Samoa will host Tonga on June 7 before Fiji entertains Tonga on June 14 and Fiji faces visiting Samoa on June 21.
The U.S. will host Japan at the Stub Hub Center in Los Angeles on June 14 in the other Pool B game.
The Pool A winner will be crowned the Pacific Island conference champion while Pool B will compete for the Asia/Pacific conference title.
“The Pacific Nations Cup is an excellent opportunity for all participating teams to play some tough, competitive test matches with just over a year to go until Rugby World Cup 2015,” Mark Egan, the International Rugby Board’s head of competitions and performance, said in a statement Wednesday.
Canada will also host No. 10 Scotland at Toronto’s BMO Field on June 14.
Canadian coach Kieran Crowley plans a trials match in B.C. a week before the first game in June so he can review the Canadian-based and overseas talent at his disposal.
Domestic-based players will take part in the Canadian Rugby Championship in the late summer with Crowley selecting the cream of the crop to represent Canada in the Americas Rugby Championship in the fall.
The Canadians will also have three test matches in November.
Canada has already qualified for the 2015 World Cup, which opens in September 2015 in England. The Canadians will play in Pool D with No. 5 Ireland, No. 7 France, No. 14 Italy and No. 17 Romania.
Fiji and Canada both finished with 3-1-0 records at the Pacific Nations Cup in 2013 but the Pacific Islanders placed first by virtue of more bonus points. The 2013 event was a basic round-robin format.