USA must capitalise on exposure

Date published: November 2 2014

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USA captain Todd Clever and All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen hope the Test in Chicago will be a starting point for rugby in the US.

USA captain Todd Clever and All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen hope the Test in Chicago will be a starting point for rugby in the US.

The Eagles were well beaten as expected by New Zealand, conceding 12 tries, but showed flashes of individual brilliance through Leicester wing Blaine Scully and Northampton’s Samu Manoa.

Clever doesn’t want to see the USA finishing matches in the same way in ten years time.

Having only spent a week training together and with many of the side being amateur players, Clever wants more Tests against Tier One nations and a professional league to be established in the United States.

“The question is, what are we going to do about it?” said Clever.

“To play at that top level in front of a primetime TV audience, we have to have more time together than five sessions.”

Hansen added that the process was a slow one, but that with an increase in the USA’s skill levels they could become a force.

“Once those young players come into international rugby, you’re going to have a group of men who have grown up with the game,” said Hansen.

“We’ll see not only the physicality and the passion the USA team had today. We’ll see them also have a lot more skill because they’ve played all their lives.”

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