LAFAYETTE, Colo. – The date and location of the USA Men’s Eagles’ home Rugby World Cup 2019 Qualifier fixture against Rugby Canada has been announced.
The long-standing rivals will be playing for the Americas 1 spot at the ninth edition of the World Cup – which is to be held in Tokyo – as fellow Americas region competitor Argentina qualified for the 2019 tournament on the merit of its 2015 performance. While the first leg of the Qualifier will be held north of the border Saturday, June 24, the teams will travel to San Diego for a July 1 return date at Torero Stadium.
“Hosting the second leg of this home-and-away series, where net point differential proves to be the determining factor in which team books the first ticket to the 2019 World Cup, in beautiful San Diego on the University of San Diego campus at Torero Stadium provides all of the ingredients for a great event,” USA Rugby CEO Dan Payne said. “The Canada vs. USA rivalry is our most storied and respected and, when you add in World Cup qualification, it only elevates the stakes.”
University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium is the home of one of the first American professional rugby teams, the San Diego Breakers, and can hold more than 6,000 supporters. Located within 15 minutes of San Diego International Airport and seven miles of the lively downtown area, Torero Stadium has undergone multiple renovations since its opening in 1961, including upgrades to the light fixtures, playing surface, and Daktronics video board. July 1 will mark the first international test played at the venue.
Details surrounding the venue for the first leg of the Qualifier in Canada will be announced by Rugby Canada in due course.
The road to World Cup qualification out of the Americas has seen the Eagles play Canada in six of eight quadrennials. Both countries – and Argentina – received invitations to the first tournament in 1987 while Canada’s 1991 Quarterfinal exit resulted in automatic qualification to the 1995 event. The Eagles have yet to earn a higher seed than Canada at the World Cup, and have dropped two consecutive home Qualifier matches to the rival to the north.