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Photo credit - "The Japan Times"

The past weekend produced three results that impact the USA Eagles as the team starts the long run into next September’s 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Japan 26–Italy 23: This year’s Japanese ascendancy is the new international rugby story, the Cherry Blossoms rising to 10th in the IRB standings, their highest ranking ever. This represented Japan’s tenth test match victory in a row, and first over the Azzurri. Importance to the USA?  Because Japan is one of the four other nations in the Eagles’ RWC Pool, along with Samoa, Scotland, and South Africa. This tournament there will not be a lower ranking Russia or Georgia in the Pool

New Zealand 36-England 13: The All Blacks tied the record at 17 for the most test matches won consecuitively. And there is every reason they will add more victories to this skein. A little more than five months to the visit by these RWC 2011 champions to Soldiers Field, Chicago on November 30th.

USA 38-Canada 35: A scrappy, come-from-behind win for the Eagles, the first over the Canadians since 2005. Confidence builder? Time will tell.

Other International Results

Australia 39-France 13: The Wallabies are demonstrating power and strength.

South Africa 31-Wales 30: A narrow, home win for the Springboks against a side that has beaten them only once in 29 games.

Scotland 21-Argentina 19: The Scots hold on to their eighth place world ranking.

Samoa 18-Fiji 13: A home win for the Samoans, ranked ninth,

IRB World Rankings (6/23/14)

  1. New Zealand
  2. South Africa
  3. Australia
  4. England
  5. Ireland
  6. Wales
  7. France
  8. Scotland
  9. Samoa
  10. Japan
  11. Fiji
  12. Argentina