Last weekend, Old Glory players helped the USA Eagles secure another clean victory in the World Cup Final Qualifying Tournament, defeating Hong Kong 49-7. This win sets up a winner-takes-all final match against Portugal to decide who will go to the World Cup in France next year.

Jamason Fa'anana-Schultz led the way, scoring the first try of the match and continuing his dominant running. There's not much I can say about his play that I didn't say after last week's win over Kenya, or even after his appearances with the Falcons in South Africa. He has been on an astonishing run of form since returning from suspension, all but ending the debate over who should start at eight for the Eagles. He will start again on Friday against Portugal.

Cory Daniel also played against Hong Kong, earning his second Eagles cap. He continues to impress on the international stage, especially given how new he is to the sport overall. In case you didn't know, Daniel didn't start playing rugby until after college, having spent his time wrestling while at UNC. He has risen from being a complete novice a few years ago to starting for the USA in key qualification matches. He will start again on Friday too.

Jack Iscaro started against Kenya but didn't play against Hong Kong. David Ainu'u, who plays in one of the top leagues in the world in the Top 14, understandably started instead, backed up by New York's Chance Wenglewski. It seems like Gary Gold was having a hard time deciding whether Iscaro or Wenglewski should get the backup spot in the all-important Portugal matchup, giving them both an opportunity to show their stuff. In the end, it is Iscaro who earned the spot on the bench on Friday. This means we should see three Old Glory players showing out for the Eagles, which is more than any other club.

Portugal defeated Kenya this past weekend 85-0, and look to be fearsome opposition. They are tied with the USA is the World Rugby rankings, making this matchup a dead heat. If the USA wins, we're through to the World Cup and all of the money and coverage that it guarantees. If not, then we will miss the World Cup for just the second time ever. The stakes are certainly high.

Unfortunately, that's it for Old Glory players on the international stage. The three other players who travelled with their national teams, Luke Campbell and Gradyn Bowd for Canada and Facundo Gattas for Uruguay, have been passed over for selection.


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