USA warm up for Pac4s

The USA Eagles will play South Africa in the UK on March 30 as part of preparation for the Pacific Four Series.

Published by Ali Donnelly, March 12th, 2024

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USA warm up for Pac4s

Kate Zackary leads the Eagles as captain for the new season, as Hope Rogers returns to the squad for the first time since playing Canada in the Pacific Four Series last April, coming off a long injury recovery.

Nikki Kenyon travels with the Eagles for the first time since 2018.

Neariah Weathers also returns to the National Team camp after a rugby hiatus and celebrating her first child. She also had a standout performance with PR7s last year.

The USA have played South Africa five times since 2009, winning four of those meetings.

Their last matchup was during the 2013 Nations Cup in Glendale, Colorado, where the Eagles took a 61-5 win on home soil. South Africa played in the WXV 2 competition with the USA last fall, but the teams did not get a chance to play each other in the window.

Head Coach Sione Fukofuka said:

“The team offers a nice balance of experience and youth, who the coaching staff are excited to see connect and play together. We have worked hard to select on form and look at all players in the extended player pool in order to select the strongest squad available to play a quality team in South Africa.

The Talent ID and Assessment camp in Charlotte did exactly what it was intended to do. It provided a new coaching staff the opportunity to work with the US-based players and get a first hand view of the talent in the extended squad. There have clearly been some players that took this opportunity and have been selected to potentially make their debuts, or have returned to the team after time away.

As a test match opponent we respect South Africa and their ability, but our focus is on us and establishing the core systems and patterns that we as a team will look to build on into 2024. We want to play a USA brand of rugby that highlights the strengths of the team through their physicality and enjoyment of the collision, and adds layers to that by using the ball, being skillful and making good decisions across the field. Combinations and our ability to connect and align across the UK camp will be a focus, however first and foremost we want to establish a strong foundation by emphasizing our core skills and work rate.”