With the Six Nations dominating the months of February and March in the rugby union calendar, it can be easy to overlook the other events happening around the globe. One such example, the Americas Rugby Championship, is in full flight, with the USA and Argentina leading the way at the top of the standings after three rounds of matches.
Perhaps the most eye-catching encounter so far was the USA’s recent victory over Canada, with the Eagles emerging victorious over their hosts by 51-34 in a hugely entertaining affair. With twelve tries shared between the two sides in a veritable score-fest, the crowd at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, British Columbia, certainly received their money’s worth.
The game showcased the best of what the Americas Rugby Championship can bring to the table. Established stars such as USA captain Todd Clever and Canadian speedster Taylor Paris – scorer of a terrific brace of tries – lined up alongside talented players making their breakthrough on the international stage.
Eagles full-back Mike Te’o enjoyed a memorable game at full-back, picking up the man-of-the-match award after notching up a hat-trick of tries, whilst Canadian second row Reegan O’Gorman looked at home on his first start in international rugby.
Aside from proving that fluid, attacking rugby can be played regardless of the conditions, the occasion also proved that rugby union in North America is alive and well. Despite the cold, damp weather on the day, over 3,400 spectators were treated to an encounter that would have graced any stadium in world rugby.
The atmosphere was loud throughout, with fans enjoying the entire rugby occasion, from the game itself to mingling with fellow supporters in the concourse area before and after the match.
Despite the concerns over the future of PRO Rugby in the USA, there can be no doubt as to the substantial appetite that exists for rugby in North America. With a range of new talent coming through the ranks for both of the sides in action in Burnaby, the talent clearly exists to sustain a competitive, exciting league within the continent, and the support base would follow. One gets the feeling that all the pieces are there for rugby to truly take off in North America. It just needs someone to come along and put them all together.
Furthermore, with the Americas Rugby Championship continuing to display the quality on show in rugby’s developing markets in North and South America, despite the lack of a title sponsor that its major European counterparts are able to boast, one can only imagine the possibilities which could arise for rugby in the region should a well-funded and well-supported league be established and maintained. Attendances would surely soar, with the talent in the league feeding into a more competitive national side for each of the countries battling it out for the title.
The Americas Rugby Championship, alongside the RBS Six Nations, continues this weekend.
About the Author
Craig Wright is the newest addition to the RBN community. A third-year student of English at the University of Stirling, Craig is an avid viewer and supporter of rugby in all its forms. He has written articles on both international and domestic rugby for a variety of publishers, from match reports to opinion pieces.
You can reach out to Craig- https://www.linkedin.com/in/craig-wright-1b8153102/