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Saturday, January 11, 2014

USA RWC Qualifier against Uruguay: Got my Tickets!

In Rugby-the Birthplace of the sport back in 2012
Ok, with less than two years to go before the anticipated oval-ball orgy that will be RWC 2015 in England, I am very much looking forward to going there to catch some Rugby World Cup games.

If I am going to watch the USA Eagles play in England, there is a little issue that needs to be worked out: The USA still needs to qualify for the World Cup. The Eagles suffered dual losses to Canada to put the Americans in the position of having to beat Uruguay in a two game, home and away series against the Tecos for the Americas 2 spot in the RWC-in the same group as South Africa, Scotland, Samoa,  and the number one Asia Qualifier. (The smart money is on Japan taking that spot)

The return leg in the USA will be in Atlanta, on the campus of Kennesaw State University. I am happy to report that my buddy Tom Daniels and I will both be going, as I just got my match tickets in the mail…
I also booked by round-trip flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta for the last weekend in March.

I had mixed feelings about USA Rugby choosing Atlanta for the match. The weather should actually be pretty decent in that part of the Southeast in late March-warm, but not un-Godly hot and sticky, like it can get in the summer. I really thought USA Rugby might try to bring the Eagles back to Houston, where the Bayou city has supported USA Eagles match in a big way with some very nice crowds the last couple of years in friendlies against Italy and Ireland the last two years. The BBVA Compass Stadium is a nice new venue that seats about 20,000 people. My guess is that there might have been a conflict with the Houston Dynamo, the MLS team that calls this stadium home.

On the bright side, this trip to go cheer the Eagles on will give me a chance to explore the history and sights in Atlanta-a city where I really only know the airport and a Waffle House near the airport.

The state of Georgia is also home to Life Univerisity-a very, very good college rugby side that has a lot of support and alumni in the area.

This will be my first USA RWC Qualifier. I did go to a different RWC qualifier 4 years ago while I was in Portugal. I had a chance to see the Lobos play against the gritty, physical Georgians on a gorgeous day in Lisbon in a match where the Georgians beat Portugal in a tough match.

At any rate, I will be in Atlanta to cheer the Eagles on, and hopefully they can stamp their ticket to England for next years Rugby World Cup.

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