rugby

Canada to face U.S. in Rugby World Cup qualifying series

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The Canadian Press
3/15/2013 1:47:12 PM
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TORONTO -- Canada will look to take the shortest possible route to the Rugby World Cup in August by winning a home-and-away series against the U.S. Eagles.

The first game is set for Aug. 17 in Charleston, S.C., with the second leg at Toronto's BMO field a week later.

The International Rugby Board has confirmed that the Web Ellis Cup, awarded to the winners of the Rugby World Cup, will be at BMO Field for the deciding match.

The Canadian men are ranked 14th in the world, two spot above the U.S.

The winner of the Canada-U.S. aggregate series qualifies for Pool D at the 2015 World Cup in England, alongside France, Ireland, Italy and Europe 2.

The loser has other options at qualifying, first in a playoff against likely Uruguay. The winner of that series joins Pool B as Americas 2 alongside South Africa, Samoa, Scotland and Asia 1 (normally Japan).

The series loser joins a repechage, featuring four teams from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, with one final shot at qualifying.

The August Tests will cap a busy season for Canada.

It starts in April, when a North American Selects side takes on South Africa's Golden Lions.

Canada will then join an expanded Pacific Nations Cup tournament, starting May 25 against the U.S. in Edmonton. Canada continues on in the tournament against No. 13 Fiji on June 5 in Ottawa and No. 11 Tonga on June 8 in Kingston, Ont.

On June 15, Canada will host Ireland at BMO Field. The Irish are ranked seventh in the world but most of their top players will be on tour in Australia with the British and Irish Lions.

The Canadian men then head to Japan for a June 19 Test against No. 15 Japan in Nagoya.

Rugby (Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images)

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(Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images)
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