The Eagle Has Landed

Rugby star Blaine Scully returns home as the USA Eagles battle Canada in Sacramento

Photo by Jeremy Sykes

When the U.S. men’s rugby team takes to the pitch against its Canadian archrivals at Cal Expo’s Bonney Field on June 21, look for Sacramento’s Blaine Scully to have his own distinct home-field advantage. The Jesuit High School alumnus (and son of Sacramento County district attorney Jan Scully) will be starting for the USA Eagles in one of the most anticipated rugby matches of the year—the first international contest to be held in Northern California since 2009.

“I’d be lying to say that we don’t all circle [the Canada match] on our calendars,” says Scully, 26, who won two college national championships while attending UC Berkeley, participated in the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, and competes professionally in Leicester, England. “It’s a game you want to play in if you play for the U.S., and a game you want to win.”

Scully adds that the U.S. men’s team—which also includes fellow Jesuit alums Louis Stanfill and Eric Fry—hopes to avenge its losses to Canada in 2013, while showcasing the sport’s attributes for a region commonly referred to by observers as a rugby hotbed. Of course, a little hometown love will go a long way, too. “My mom has ordered 65 tickets or something,” Scully says, chuckling. Scrum one, scrum all. 

USA Rugby plays Canada on June 21 at 3 p.m. $15-$100. Bonney Field at Cal Expo. 1600 Exposition Blvd. 307-6105. usarugby.org