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British and Irish Lions versus All Blacks - The match begins Saturday at 7:35 p.m. New Zealand time. A sell out crowd is expected at Auckland's Eden Park Stadium. It will be televised in Great Britain on the BBC (British Standard Time) and some predict it will generate the largest worldwide audience for a Test match not played in a Rugby World Cup.

The winner triumphs in the three-game series. There is no playoff if tied at the final whistle..

Women's World Cup 2017 Update - Final plans are underway in Ireland, which hosts the tournament that welcomes twelve sides. The first game on Wednesday, August 9 pits England, defending champions, against Spain. All preliminary matches will be in Dublin.

The schedule for the USA follows:

Date                Day                 Time               Opponent

August 9         Wednesday     11:30 ET         Italy

August 13       Saturday            9:45 ET         Spain

August 17       Thursday          9:30 ET         England

The first playoff occurs Tuesday, August 22 when the first and fourth seed play, and also the second and third seeds. To advance into the four-team semis, the Eagles must be on top of the pool at 3-0 or, if going 2-1, have the best point differential among the other 2-1 teams.

The Cup final will be played in Kingspan Stadium, Belfast, on Saturday, August 26.

Of past note, the Eagles defeated an All-Star WPL squad 50-0 last Saturday after the Men's match with Canada. Yet, here is a major difference in the quality of RWC tune-up games among the leading nations. England, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia participated in a competitive three-game event while the USA played one match against the All-Star WPL XV.

French Rugby Federation Proposes Eight-Nation European Championship - The FFR suggested an expansion from six European nations to eight by 2023. This would allow Georgia to enter as the seventh team with, perhaps, a playoff competition among Spain, Romania, and Russia for the last slot. The idea effectively keeps poorly performing Italy in the Six Nations firmament.