Gold Happy With Eagles Despite Forced Personnel Changes

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USA Men's 15s head coach Gary Gold is feeling pretty good about his team's performance in the Pacific Nations Cup as he looks ahead to the final Summer Test Series game with Canada, and then the World Cup in Japan.

Gold said he normally doesn't like to change the lineup from week to week, but felt he was forced to as he needed to see different players and different combinations in game situations. He also said that he put the team under pressure by making changes.

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The fact that the Eagles still put in a fairly dominating win over Canada, a tight win over Samoa, and a competitive loss to Japan was gravy.

"Some guys deserved and warranted to play, and that was a strategy that we decided upon ... very early," said Gold. "The fact that we chopped and changed as much as we did and still enjoyed the success that we had—I was pleased with that."

Having said that, Gold said the team can play better, and he even went so far as to say the players didn't realize they would as competitive with Japan.

"I think the guys came away from that game thinking, 'Wow, I think we can be competitive with a team like Japan,'" said the coach.

But there are improvements to be made, said the coach, acknowledging that they leaked too many tries, and had a few difficulties dealing with Japan's speed on the outside. 

"We've showed in glimpses against Ireland that we can go toe-to-toe with anybody," he added. "Our real challenge is that we've got to do that with more consistency."

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Autumn Nations Cup Stock Report

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You could be forgiven for thinking that the Northern hemisphere teams decided to play another Six Nations tournament in 2020, and added Georgia, perhaps on a trial basis. But no! 

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Top 15 Players Of Autumn Nations Cup

England

The Autumn Nations Cup wasn’t just a measuring stick for international teams, but also a proving ground for players looking to either break into the national team or reestablish their place in it. For the four British Isles, it was also an audition for Warren Gatland’s 2021 British & Irish Lions team which heads to South Africa next summer. 

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Top 5 Games From Autumn Nations Cup

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Now that it's over, it's all about the numbers.

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Autumn Nations Cup Notebook: Fijian Flair Shows Up & Champions Crowned

England

If the first three rounds of the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup were labeled as slow, or too kick-heavy, the final weekend was anything but. 

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England Prevails As Autumn Nations Cup Champs

Championship Replay: England vs France

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It was supposed to be a cakewalk. It was supposed to be business as usual for Eddie Jones’ team in front of 2,000 spectators at Twickenham. 

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How to Watch Autumn Nations Cup: Wales vs Italy

Wales vs Italy

Italy and Wales will face off for fifth place as they look to finish off their Autumn Nations Cup run with a win. 

How to Watch Autumn Nations Cup: Ireland vs Scotland

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Both teams had some decent showings in pool play. Ireland's lone loss came to championship contender England in the second round in a hard fought contest. They will look to finish out the Autumn Nations Cup on a good note with a win over Scotland.