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22 Nov 2009

Stars and stripes to fly at RWC 2011

[From Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd]

Today in Florida, the United States of America (USA) beat Uruguay to secure their position at Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) as the Americas 2 qualifier.

On November 15, the USA won the first of the two match qualification series 27-22 despite a late comback by Uruguay which saw them score 13 points in the final six minutes. Today, Uruguay went down 27-6 in front of the American crowd.

The USA will compete at RWC 2011 in Pool C against Australia, Ireland, Italy and Europe 2.

“It has been exciting to see the rapid growth of Rugby in the USA, and I am sure their qualification for RWC 2011 will help the sport continue to grow. We looking forward to hosting the team and their supporters in 2011,” said Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd (RNZ 2011) CEO Martin Snedden. 

The USA will play their first RWC 2011 match on September 11 against Ireland at Taranaki Stadium in New Plymouth. They then remain in New Plymouth to face Europe 2 on September 15.

New Plymouth District Mayor Peter Tennent is looking forward to personally welcoming the team when they arrive. “The USA has worked hard to gain a spot in the Tournament and the locals will give them huge support when they run onto the ground at Stadium Taranaki,” he said. “This is what Rugby World Cup is about: a Rugby-mad public sharing the love of the game with players from around the world.”

Their third pool match will be against Australia at Wellington Regional Stadium on September 23. This qualification also means that the full line up is confirmed for the five pool matches to be contested in Wellington.

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast added her welcome to the team, “On behalf of the people of Wellington, I’d like to congratulate the United States on their qualification for RWC 2011. I guarantee all players, officials and supporters that they’ll never forget their time in the Capital of the world’s greatest Rugby nation. We’re looking forward to seeing you here in 2011.”

Their fourth and final pool match will be against Italy at Nelson’s Trafalgar Park on September 27.

Said Nelson Mayor Kerry Marshall, "The birthplace of New Zealand Rugby is pleased to host the USA. It has been a rugged road to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2011, and our community is looking forward to embracing the team with a warm, sunny welcome. I know the players will feel very much at home playing in Nelson at Trafalgar Park."

This is the sixth time USA have qualified for Rugby World Cup, having already participated in all Tournaments except 1995.

The USA is currently ranked 17th in the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Rankings.

Despite missing out on the Americas 2 position, Uruguay will have one final chance to qualify for RWC 2011 in late 2010 in the Play-off series. They must win against the runner-up of the 2010 Asian Five Nations competition for a chance to play in the Play-Off Final. The winner of the Play-off Final will qualify for RWC 2011 in Pool B.  

For the full match report, please click here.

About Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd (RNZ 2011): RNZ 2011 was established in June 2006, following the selection of the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) as the Host Union for RWC 2011 by the IRB Council in November 2005. It is the organisation responsible for the planning and delivery of RWC 2011 in New Zealand on behalf of its shareholders, the NZRU and the New Zealand Government.

About IRB Rugby World Cup: IRB Rugby World Cup is the third largest sports event in the world. The inaugural tournament took place in 1987 and it is held every four years. In 2007 the sixth tournament was held in France and enjoyed a cumulative worldwide broadcast audience of more than four billion.

For the latest on RWC 2011 visit

For further information please contact:

Clare Wolfensohn, Online Editor, Rugby New Zealand 2011 Limited (RNZ 2011), M: 021 412 221

Peter Tennent, New Plymouth District Mayor, New Plymouth District Council, M: 021 759 610

Stephen Matthews, Office of the Mayor, Wellington City Council, M: 021 227 8517

Angela Ricker, Communications Advisor, Nelson City Council, M: 027 457 7274