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July 2024 Tests: USA vs Romania – ARN Guide

A 100-year rivalry continues as the United States takes on Romania in Chicago on Friday. The two teams first met a century ago at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris. The latest chapter will be for the Pershing Cup at Seat Geek Stadium in Chicago, Illinois.

The game will be the Eagles' first game of the year. The USA's previous game was a 42-12 win over Spain last November. La Vila Cup was a competition organized by Spain for four teams that did not qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Romania qualified and faced Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and Tonga.

The game in Chicago will be the Eagles' first home game since they disappointingly watched the World Cup on TV rather than playing in it. The Eagles are looking for a third straight win over Romania but, oddly, will face the Oaks in the US for the first time.

The last duel between the USA Eagles and Romania Oaks took place last August. It was a warm-up game for the Eastern Europeans for the Rugby World Cup. Although the USA had not qualified for the World Cup, they celebrated a narrow victory in Bucharest with 31:17.

  • Scott Lawrence has nominated Renger van Eerten and JP Smith for their debut with the Eagles.
  • 13 Eagles starters play in Major League Rugby. AJ MacGinty and Renger van Eerten do not.
  • Romania's backup hooker Robert Irimescu is a native American player from New York.
  • Head coach David Gérard has a debutant in second-row striker Yanis Hornet.
  • What is highly unusual in Test rugby is that Marius Simionescu acts as captain from the wing.
  • The starting defenders all earn money in Romania. Ștefan Buruiană plays for the Top 14 team Castres. The other strikers play in lower leagues in France.
  • The game takes place 100 years after the opening game, when the USA won gold at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris.
  • The game is a first; none of the previous nine friendlies between the USA and Romania took place in the USA.
  • The match between the two teams in 2023 was won by the Eagles, even though Romania participated in the World Cup.

Despite missing the World Cup, the USA Eagles are the favorites to win. The USA's roster and recent results make a similar outcome to the 2023 game seem plausible. Home advantage and weather will also play a role. Ideal conditions are expected for a partly cloudy afternoon with mild winds and temperatures. ARN predicts a USA victory with +15 points.


USA EAGLES
1 Jake Tunbull, 2 Dylan Fawsitt, 3 Paul Mullen, 4 Renger van Eerten, 5 Greg Peterson, 6 Sam Golla, 7 Jamason Fa'anana-Schultz, 8 Thomas Tu'avao, 9 JP Smith, 10 AJ MacGinty, 11 Nate Augspurger, 12 Tommaso Boni, 13 Tavite Lopeti, 14 Christian Dyer, 15 Mitch Wilson

Substitutes: 16 Mike Sosene-Feagai, 17 Nate Sylvia, 18 Kaleb Geiger, 19 Viliami Helu, 20 Benjamín Basso, 21 Paddy Ryan, 22 Luke Carty, 23 Bryce Campbell


ROMANIA
1 Iulian Hartig, 2 Ștefan Buruiană, 3 Vasile Balan, 4 Yanis Horvat, 5 Andrei Mahu, 6 Vlad Neculau, 7 Dragoș Ser, 8 Nicolaas Immelman, 9 Alin Conache, 10 Hinckley Vaovasa, 11 Tevita Manumua, 12 Jason Tomane, 13 Mihai Graure, 14 Marius Simionescu (captain), 15 Paul Popoaia

Substitutes: 16 Robert Irimescu, 17 Alexandru Savin, 18 Cosmin Manole, 19 Marius Iftimiciuc, 20 Kamil Sobota, 21 Gabriel Rupanu, 22 Fonovai Tangimana, 23 Daniel Plai

Date: Friday, 05 July
Venue: SeatGeek Stadium (Chicago, IL)
Begin: 14:00 local time
Weather forecast: Partly cloudy. Wind 13 km/h northeast. 24 degrees Celsius.
Streaming: live on FloRugby

Referee: Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
Assistants: Robin Kaluzniak (Canada); Marcus Playle (New Zealand)
TMO: Cam Russell (Canada)

DIRECT COMPARISON (9): USA 7, Romania 2, STREAK USA +2
05 August 2023 – Romania – USA 17:31 (Bucharest, RO)
17 November 2018 – Romania – USA 31.05. (Bucharest, RO)
13 November 2016 – Romania – USA 23:10 (Bucharest, RO)
08 November 2014 – Romania – USA 17:27 (Bucharest, RO)
26 November 2012 – Romania 03-34 USA (Bucharest, RO)
29 May 2005 – USA – Romania 28:22 (Tokyo, JP)
09 October 1999 – Romania – USA 27:25 (Dublin, Ireland)
17 September 1988 – USA 17:07 Romania (Moscow, USSR)
11 May 1924 – USA – Romania 37:0 (Paris, FR)