The team have been at eight World Cups, but will they be at the tournament being held in France?
The USA have been involved in eight Rugby World Cups but they will not be adding a ninth tournament to their history at the 2023 tournament. The team failed to qualify and so won’t be competing in France in September and October.
The USA’s first chance to qualify for the 2023 World Cup came against Uruguay in 2021 but they lost a two-game series 50-34 against the South Americans. Their second opportunity came against Chile in 2022 and they were well placed after winning the first leg away by one point. However, Chile secured their place at a first ever Rugby World Cup after coming from 19-0 down in the second leg to win by two points and seal their progression.
Related: Chile Rugby World Cup squad
After several rounds of qualification, the USA had not qualified and so were put into the final qualification tournament as Americas 3. The team defeated Kenya and Hong Kong but Portugal also beat those teams. This meant the spot at the World Cup would be decided in a game between the USA and Portugal.
The USA had to beat Portugal as the latter had a greater points difference than them. The USA were winning 16-13 as the clock ticked red but then Portugal won a penalty. They pointed to the sticks and Samuel Marques scored to draw the game level with the last kick.
The result saw Portugal through on overall points scored in the four-nation tournament in Dubai after the two teams finished with the same record, inflicting heartbreak on the USA team.
The failure to secure a spot at the tournament saw head coach Gary Gold resign in December. USA’s CEO Ross Young said: “We’re committed to charting a path which will bring American rugby to the forefront of international competition over the course of the next decade.”
This is not the first time they have failed to qualify. They also did not compete at the 1995 tournament hosted and won by South Africa.
Are USA at Rugby World Cup 2027?
The team will have to come through qualifying for the next edition in Australia but they will definitely be at the 2031 tournament. They will be hosting and the country who holds the tournament is given automatic qualification.
Read more: USA to host Rugby World Cup
The USA will also host the women’s Rugby World Cup in 2033.
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