The Wallabies will contest their first official warm-up match ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England later this month against the USA Eagles at Chicago’s Soldier Field on Sunday morning Australian time.
Having clinched the Rugby Championship with an impressive and rare win over the All Blacks on August 8th, the Wallabies suffered a crushing defeat at Eden Park in their most recent fixture and will be keen to return to the winner’s circle in this exhibition match.
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The Wallabies appeared in line for a good Rugby Championship season this year after two Australian franchises were good enough to make the Super Rugby finals series; the Waratahs and Brumbies.
Beginning their international campaign in the best way possible with a gritty win over the Springboks after the siren on July 18th, the Wallabies were charged with overcoming a formed Argentina side away in Mendoza only a week later but delivered a particularly good performance to run away 34-9 victors.
Given little chance for success in their match with old foes the All Blacks in Sydney, Australia exposed several weaknesses particularly in the reigning World Champions’ backline; posting a 27-19 victory.
Having been thoroughly played off the park when going down 41-13 in the reverse fixture two weeks later, coach Michael Cheika has since picked his 31-man squad for the World Cup, but has called winger Taqele Naiyaravoro, second-rower Sam Carter and hooker James Hanson in to bolster his team to take on the Eagles on Sunday morning.
The Wallabies have been in camp at the renowned Notre Dame University for the last week and have comfortably adapted to their surroundings ahead of Sunday’s one-off match with the USA.
Offered great depth in the forward pack and across the back line, the Wallabies should have absolutely no issue delivering the Eagles a crushing defeat at Soldier field.
A mainstay at the Rugby World Cup without making much of an impact, The Eagles have continued to improve through recent seasons and will arguably field their best team at the game’s pinnacle this year.
Having found competitive form leading into their showdown with the Wallabies on Sunday morning Australian time, the Eagles posted a particularly impressive 23-18 win over Japan on July 24th, but were unable to last a full 80 minutes against Tonga only five days later; going down 33-19.
Defeating key rivals Canada 15-13 and 41-23 in two matches through August, Coach Mike Tolkin has selected a number of US-based players in his World Cup squad and team to face the Wallabies this weekend; bolstered by the likes of England-based players Eric Fry, Hayden Smith, Thretton Palamo and of course captain/fullback Chris Wyles.
The Eagles played the All Blacks in a similar one-off at Soldier Field in November last year and were beaten 74-6. While sure to play with plenty of heart and courage, a similar result is not out of the question when they face Australia this weekend.