Welcome to my first blog entry leading up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup. I am really looking forward to this opportunity to share our adventures with you. I hope this blog offers you a glimpse of what life is like at the Rugby World Cup in the USA Eagles camp.
It's been a four year process leading up to this point, especially for a lot of us who were fortunate enough to be in France in 2007. But our most recent build up was a two game series with Canada followed by taking on Japan in Tokyo. It has been quite a bit traveling this summer and we all have certainly been racking up the air miles!
Those past three games have been disappointing for us as a squad. Looking back, we certainly believe that we were capable and arguably could have won every game. But in the end the real value in these games was to help us prepare for the World Cup and I believe they were a success in this regard. We were able to learn quality lessons from them as well as identify and continue to build on positive aspects of our play. So all things considered it was a worthwhile warm up series for us so that we could be together as a squad and really have a good gauge of where we are and where we need to be heading into the tournament.
After Tokyo, we had a short break to go home before reassembling in Santa Barbara, CA for our final minicamp. It should be a lot of fun, especially since we get to stay in the UCSB dorms!
Along the way of all this traveling, I've been in two earthquakes (Tokyo and New York City) and a hurricane (Irene), which ravaged the east coast and postponed my departure for training camp. So I'm arriving a day late with plenty of catching up to do! I hope that all of the readers and their families affected by Hurricane Irene are safe and able to get back to a normal lifestyle very quickly.
Rugby aside, it was a great three weeks for us. We had an amazing and supportive home crowd in Denver see us off at our final home game before the World Cup and were treated like royalty in Japan. The Japanese were more than hospitable and ensured we enjoyed our time there. Our tour guide, John, gave some of us a brief tour of Tokyo, which included the Emperor's Palace and a big Japanese temple. But probably the coolest part for me was needing John as my translator to communicate with my opposite number in the locker room after the game. He spoke no English and my Japanese is nonexistent, but it was cool to chat through John. I wanted to keep my jersey as captain from that game but still wanted to trade for his. So through John I explained the important of my jersey, my respect for his, and offered him my jersey from the previous Canada game. He was happy to trade and it was a good business deal.
After the game we were treated to a traditional Japanese song from their team at the post game function. I have no idea what they sang but it sounded pretty good! Then we had what was arguably the longest toast ever from several different people associated with the Japanese RFU, including the former Prime Minister of Japan, before heading back to the hotel.
Support U.S.A Rugby with official rugby jerseys and other officially licensed gear from the Eagles
After a long trip home and a few days to reflect on what has past and what lies ahead, I have never been more excited to get to camp. We have a lot of work to do but we are prepared and committed so that when we touch down in New Zealand on September 3rd we are ready to hit the ground running. I think I actually missed a triple training day on Monday so I probably will have some work ahead of me to catch up. But I am excited and really looking forward to this next month. I hope you all are, too. Only 11 days until we kick off on NBC against Ireland on September 11th!!
Thanks for all your support! Until next time... GO EAGLES!!!
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The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
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Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.