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The USA will play a Test match against a German XV for the first time this Saturday at Brita Arena, Weisbaden. It marks a substantial milestone of the recent improvement of the German team, which, this year rose to mid-pack in the European Championship Division, the second tier of rugby in that continent.

Rugby History

Germany has a long but unknown history playing rugby, dating to 1878 and the foundation of DSV78 Hanover RFC.  British students introduced the game into that country, especially, at Heidelberg University. (Heidelberg RFC founded in 1891.)

Germany tied for a silver medal in rugby at the 1900 Paris Olympics, where host France won the gold. It would be 27-years later when Germany returned to Paris where it lost to France 30-5 at the old Stade de Colombes.

Rugby was an exhibition sport at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Four nations (Italy, Romania, France, and Germany) competed with France defeating Germany 19-15. No Olympic medal was awarded.

German club rugby continued on a minor scale until the beginning of this century. The highlight was Germany hosting the Hanover 7s in 2008. Currently, the Rugby Bundesliga comprises 125-clubs, numbering 14,000 members. 

The German Team

Germany went 2-3 in 2017's Championship Division, upsetting Romania (41-38) and beating Belgium (34-29) for the two victories. It lost to Georgia (2017 Division titlist), Spain, and Russia. Other Tests this year included wins against Kenya (30-29) in May and, last week, a 45-12 thumping of Brazil.

In net, Germany have proved competitive against other tier two nations. It would be unwise for the Eagles to take this opponent lightly.

(The game will be aired on the Rugby Channel for subscribers starting at 11 a.m. ET Saturday, November 18)