The USA Eagles, winners of the last two Americas Rugby Championship tournaments, will take to the road to defend their crown with the first two of their five games in South America. The Americas Rugby Championship has released the 2019 schedule and this year’s competition will see six nations playing five games each over six weeks.

A bye week has been added after Week Two as part of the tournament’s commitment toward player welfare.

In a year that will culminate with three, hopefully, four, ARC nations playing in Rugby World Cup in Japan, every game will be relevant as teams and players build toward competing on the sport’s largest stage.

Last beaten in this tournament in March 2016, the USA Eagles enter as the team to beat. However, their main opponent, ARC 2016 champion Argentina XV will welcome the USA to Río Negro in Round 2, aiming to set the record straight.

After drawing the first two times these teams met, the Eagles managed a narrow 17-10 win in the opening round of the 2018 tournament and took an early control of the ARC; a lead they did not relinquish.

Canada, fourth in 2018, is currently preparing for the Rugby World Cup 2019 Repechage tournament in France this month. Everyone in Rugby Americas hopes that by the time Canada travels to Uruguay for round One they will have already qualified as the fourth team representing the Americas at the 2019 World Cup.

The six-team, fifteen-game tournament, played in nine different cities, will again be widely available for live viewing, with broadcast details to be announced at a later date.

Rugby Americas President Agustín Pichot said: “In announcing the schedule for the fourth edition of the Americas Rugby Championship, we are delighted with the sustained growth the tournament has experienced. The ARC was born out of the need to create a vehicle to inspire a younger generation of players and fans, while assisting in the development of the current players. Year over year, this has been widely achieved.”

Pichot continued: “2019 is a very big year for rugby. Having both regions of the Americas as early as February in international competition shows that we are ready to continue growing and developing. Furthermore, I’m very happy with the bye week being added to the schedule in the interest of player welfare.”

Rugby Americas CEO Dan Payne added: “The leading competition within the Americas region, the 2019 Americas Rugby Championship, will look to prepare players from what we hope will be four countries, pending the results of the Repechage Tournament in Europe, for next year’s Rugby World Cup.”

“Simultaneously, the competition serves as a vehicle to grow and promote rugby across all six countries as they each keep an eye toward 2023.”

Payne further added “2018 saw two successful Rugby Americas tournaments in the ARC and the Americas Rugby Challenge. There are exciting plans already underway that will continue to add content to the growing Rugby Americas (Rugby Americas North & Sudamérica Rugby) competition portfolio.”

New logo

Rugby Americas is also is unveiling a new logo for the 2019 Americas Rugby Championship. The chosen color palette for this strong logo represents the colors of each nation involved in the tournament. The metallic treatment and heavy typeface represents strength and staying power.

The complete 2019 Americas Rugby Championship schedule:

Week 1
February 2        Uruguay v Canada                      in Montevideo
February 2        Argentina XV v Brazil                in Neuquén
February 2        Chile v USA                                  in Santiago

Week 2
February 9        Argentina XV v USA                  in Río Negro
February 9        Brazil v Canada                          in Sao Paulo
February 9        Uruguay v Chile                         in Montevideo

Week 3
Rest week

Week 4
February 22       Canada v Chile                          in Langford
February 23       Argentina XV v Uruguay        in Buenos Aires
February 23       USA v Brazil                              in Houston

Week 5
March 1            Canada v Argentina XV            in Langford
March 2            USA v Uruguay                          in Seattle
March 2            Brazil v Chile                              in Sao Paulo

Week 6
March 8            USA v Canada                           in Seattle
March 9            Chile v Argentina XV               in Santiago
March 9            Uruguay v Brazil                       in Montevideo