BOULDER, Colo. – Infinity Park at Glendale has been confirmed as the venue for the rugby test match between the USA Rugby Men’s National Team, the Eagles, and the Republic of Georgia on Saturday June 16, 2012. Tickets start at $15 and will go on sale on Thursday March 22, 2012 at glendalerugby.com.
The two teams last met in November 2010 in Tbilisi and the 17-19 USA loss is still a point of high controversy. Nearly eight minutes of extra time and a yellow card proved fatal for the Eagles who saw their lead slip away with a late Georgia try to tie the game and a successful conversion to win it. The raucous Georgian home crowd erupted in celebration as the Eagles doubled over in defeat, a moment and a feeling the USA won’t soon forget.
Atonement and a fresh start for the Eagles following the hiring of New Yorker Mike Tolkin as head coach will serve as motivation as the two teams take the field once again.
Georgia is known for it’s thick and ferocious forwards but has also produced some excellent backs in recent years. On the other hand, the USA is renowned for it’s hard-hitting defense led by superstar team captain Todd Clever, but the Eagles have a roster full of exciting young talent and proven professionals including flyer Takudzwa Ngwenya and Chris Wyles.
USA second rower Hayden Smith, a Metro State basketball letterman, has ascended to rugby stardom playing for English powerhouse club, Saracens, and may play for the Eagles in June. Smith has recently worked out for the New York Jets, New Orleans Saints, and New York Giants, NFL teams interested in trying Smith, who stands at 6’6’’ and 265 lbs. and runs a 4.75 40 yd., out as a tight end. If Smith gets the call up to an NFL roster, the Eagles may need to look for another option at lock.
The USA will play Canada in Kingston, Ontario on Saturday June 9 and will play Italy at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on June 23 to round out their June test match Series.
The last test match that was played at Infinity Park between Canada and the USA was a sell-out, a testament to the growing base of rugby fans in the Denver area.