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The U20 Canadian team defeated the USA U20 fifteen 23-5 in the second of the two-match series. Canadians will advance to play in the U20 Trophy round (second tier) in Brazil this July, starting on the 21st
The Canadians won the first game 44-33. Both matches were played in Canada.
The reality is that the young USA squad met only one-week before the first game, hardly enough time to mold into a formidable fifteen.
Brazil will host the event, which is the reason they are one of the eight international teams in the tournament. The other seven nations qualified this season in area playoffs.
The eight entries are:
Currently, the annual U20 Championship is being played in Argentina with twelve teams. France won the event for the first-time last year. Third round games commence this week.
For the USA, the path into the eight-team U20 Trophy event cannot occur unless the Eagles beat Canada for the North American placement. This has proved difficult to accomplish with only one playoff win in the past five-years.
The solution to a pathway into the U20 Trophy annual contest can be achieved partially through more playing time for the newly assembled team. But the most practical outcome to gain admission is for USA Rugby to petition World Rugby to expand the U20 Trophy tournament from eight to twelve teams.
In a twelve-team line up – probably, with two North American placements – the USA would qualify each year. Then, the young Eagles could compete in the U20 Trophy event.
Here’s how the newly expanded U20 Trophy tournament might set up:
North America (2) = USA, Canada
South America (2) = Uruguay, Brazil, Chile
Africa (2) = Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia
Europe (2) = Spain, Portugal, Russia, Romania
Asia (2) = Japan, China, Hong Kong
Oceania (2) = Tonga, Samoa
For the U20 Eagles, paying more yearly matches against similar level sides, would afford experience and generate confidence.