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If Team USA’s clean sheet is to stay unblemished through the end of the year, it’s going to take some doing. There are two games in which the Eagles will be favored, and two in which they’ll be heavy underdogs.
USA Rugby confirmed the Nov. 17 match with Romania in Bucharest Wednesday. The Eagles last met the Oaks in 2016, falling 23-10 in Bucharest. All-time, the Americans are 6-2 in the series. Romania is ranked 17th, two spots below the USA.
The other announced matches are Nov. 3 against Maori All Blacks in Chicago and Ireland Nov. 24 in Dublin. The Eagles are 0-10 all-time against Ireland and 0-4 against the Maori. In 2013, they played both close, losing 15-12 to Ireland in Houston and 29-19 to the Maori in Philadelphia. In the next meeting with each, the USA was blown out – 54-7 by the Maori in Chicago in 2016, and 55-19 by Ireland in Houston in 2017.
"Our schedule for November is a demanding one with an opening match against a New Zealand Maori team made up of campaign-hardened Super Rugby players and three away test matches; the last being against Ireland, the 2nd ranked team in the world," said Dave Hodges, General Manager of Men's 15s Programs.
"We welcome this challenge as we strive to improve our performance heading into a World Cup year."
The yet-to-be announced match will be Nov. 10, reportedly against Spain. The Eagles are 3-0 all-time against Los Leones, having last beaten them twice in 2003. The USA’s average margin of victory in the series is 47 points.
The Eagles will enter the fall test series 8-0, having already secured the most wins in a calendar year in team history. The previous high mark was seven wins in 2003. They’ve also guaranteed just the seventh winning year in history.
To claim the best winning percentage, the Eagles will have to win out, as the team finished 1-0 in both 1978 and 1984. Take out the single-test seasons, and they can notch the winningest year in team history with just one more win.