NEW PLYMOUTH, New Zealand (AP) — On paper, it should be no contest: Ireland has beaten the United States all six times they’ve met.
But Sunday’s Rugby World Cup opener for both teams has added significance for the Americans coming on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The U.S. Eagles will wear black armbands during the match that will start eight hours after they attend a memorial service at St. Andrews Church in New Plymouth. United States captain Todd Clever admits the anniversary “adds a bit more for the boys.”
Also adding some intrigue to the match is that Irishman Eddie O’Sullivan is now the American coach.