The U.S.A. Eagles will kick off their 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign next September with a match against Samoa on the 20th. It will be their 5th consecutive appearance in the tournament and their seventh overall. The only time they missed the tournament was in 1995.
The national team and the sport has evolved in many aspects both on and off the field in the last 25 years. Back in 1987 the hard core fans of the sport could only dream of playing the New Zealand All Blacks in 60,000 fans at Soldier Field. Today it is a reality.
One of the more noticeable ways in which the Eagles have changed is their jerseys. We’d thought we take a look at what the Eagles wore in each of the World Cups since 1995 and to see how they’ve evolved.
1999 Rugby World Cup
The U.S. didn’t have the best World Cup in 1999 losing all three of their matches to Australia, Ireland, and Romania (the Romania result was at least close). As a result most of the pictures from the time feature the Eagles getting thrown back. But as you can see the jerseys were divided into a white or red bottom, a stripe, and then a blue top. They also have the traditional collar and the old U.S.A. Rugby logo.
2003 Rugby World Cup
The 2003 World Cup saw the tournament field expanded to pools of five teams each. This meant that the Eagles still had a tough match with Fiji, Scotland, and France—all losses—but they did have the opportunity to pick up a win over Japan. In terms of their jersey there wasn’t much change from 1999 except the line sometimes disappears on the jerseys.
2007 Rugby World Cup
For many Eagles fans the 2007 World Cup was one of the most memorable for one reason—Taku Ngwenya’s try against South Africa. It truly was a try that had everything. The Eagles jersey also underwent a number of changes. The U.S.A. Rugby logo was updated to its current incarnation, the jerseys were tighter fitting, and the sponsor Kooga was plastered on the front. The jerseys were also a simple red. Unfortunately the results weren’t there as the Eagles lost all of their matches.
2011 Rugby World Cup
By 2011 Canterbury had taken over as the shirt manufacturer. There were a few iterations that weren’t quite that good before the final design was settled on. The final design kept the tight fitting look without the collar but instead of red went with white or blue. The results were also better for the Eagles. They played Ireland and Italy relatively close, lost to Australia, and beat Russia. In our opinion it’s the best jersey to date.
2015 Rugby World Cup
Once again the Eagles switch manufacturers ahead of the tournament, this time going with BLK. For the current jersey it’s a simple blue and red number with blue being on top and bottom with a red stripe in the middle. We can’t wait to see it in action leading up to and in England next year.
Which jersey do you like the most? Do you have all the jerseys the team wore at Rugby World Cups?
Get officially licensed gear of the USA Eagles at WorldRugbyShop.