You are here
In October 1977, history would be made when the USA Eagles would tour England where rugby originated and where the rules of the global game were codified. It would also commemorate the first occasion when the Stars and Stripes would fly at Twickenham.
The leading personnel: Coach, Dennis Storer, Manager, Ken Wood, Captain, Craig Sweeny.
The six-match tour would send the Eagles to all corners of England to play university and club sides before the final game, that first ever Test Match against the host nation.
The RFU had considered the caliber of USA ability when it arranged a selection of opposition of some clubs at or about the same level as the Eagles, and other sides more experienced.
Remember, that in 1977 rugby remained an amateur sport. Tries counted four points, conversions, two, and penalties, three.
The result was two wins and four losses, although these outcomes only narrated a partial story. The games follow:
Opponent Score Venue Attendance
Civil Service W-15-6 Gloucester 7,000
Cornwall L-18-11 Cambourne 4,000
Coventry L-33-6 Condon 5,000
Gosforth L-18-6 Gosforth 4,800
Cambridge W-20-18 Cambridge 4,000
England L-37-11 Twickenham 15,000
The British press was generous to the effort of the USA team, with major compliments coming also from knowledge of the game. One newspaper Test Match headline punned, “England In a Try Spangled Manner.”
Coach Storer summed up the experience, “They did their nation proud and will be fondly remembered by all who saw them.”