(Berkeley, California) 3 March 1999 -- The US National Team will travel to Australia for three Rugby World Cup warmup matches this July, facing two Super 12 teams and a state development squad on a short provincial tour.
First up, the USA will meet the ACT Brumbies at Bruce Stadium, Canberra, on July 17. Next stop is the Sydney Football Stadium, where the Eagles will tackle an Emerging New South Wales squad on July 21. The tour finishes in Brisbane with the Queensland Reds at Ballymore on July 24.
The Eagles can expect near test-level competition on the short but demanding visit, with the Reds capable of fielding a team including 14 Wallabies and the Brumbies home to players such as George Gregan and Steve Larkham, Australia's starting halfback pairing in 1998.
"Quality competition in the buildup to the Rugby World Cup is essential to us," said US head coach Jack Clark, confirming the tour schedule.
"We are looking forward to the tour, although we have no illusions as to its difficulty. The Brumbies and the Reds are talented teams who will have played a lot of rugby together by the time we meet."
The tour falls nearly a month after the USA completes its Pacific Rim program, Clark noted, allowing players time to rest mentally and physically from the five-match series. The US hopes to arrange another tour in August to round out its RWC '99 preparations, he said.
Australia and the United States, both in World Cup Pool E, square off in Limerick, Ireland, on October 14.
USA to Australia, 1999
|v ACT Brumbies||Bruce Stadium, Canberra||17 July|
|v Emerging Waratahs||Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney||21 July|
|v Queensland Reds||Ballymore, Brisbane||24 July|