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1997 Tour of Wales Scheduled

(Berkeley, CA) 5 September 1996 -- Though gearing up for next week's Pan American Championship, head coach Jack Clark today announced the US National Rugby Team has scheduled a two-week tour of Wales in January of 1997. The trip culminates with a full international in Cardiff.

The four-game fixture list opens with Wales 'A' on January 1, and then shows two top club sides. The US will play 1995 Heineken League champion Neath on January 4 and 1995 SWALEC Cup champion Pontypridd on January 7. On January 11 the US will run out against Wales in famous Cardiff Arms Park, known as the "cathedral of rugby."

"It'll be bloody hard rugby," Clark said of the national team's first visit to the traditional power in ten years. "Four extremely hard matches in 11 days will force us to put as many as 25 players on the field. It's the type of competition that we need."

Clark also released tentative dates for the 1997 Pacific Rim Rugby Championship, a four-team competition that takes place in May and June. The US finished second to Canada in 1996šs inaugural version.

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