In five tournaments, the Eagles won just two games, a trend of rugby mediocrity that looks set to continue. A second-tier team, the Eagles have two fundamental flaws; they lack a solid professional core, and they are dogged by an inability to compete against stronger rugby nations. Most of the Eagles squad play in the US semi-professional Super League. This is not an elite league, and the exclusion of some of the country's strongest rugby clubs questions the league's premier division status. Thus, the majority of the Eagles do not compete against quality opposition on a regular basis.
Despite having only once qualified to the knockout stage (1991), this promises to be a good tournament for the maple leaf men. Currently ranked number 13 in the world rankings, and placed in a pool that presents hardship and opportunity in equal measures, Canada has potential to surprise. Canada is not known as a rugby powerhouse, but recent participation in international development series, such as the Churchill Cup and Super Cup has strengthened Canadian rugby with several Canadian internationals playing professional rugby in the Heineken Cup, Magners' League and French Top 14.
Japan arrives at France 2007 as the finest rugby talent that Asia has to offer. Unfortunately, Asia isn't offering much. A second-tier rugby nation at best, Japan falls between adequate and good, performing well against Asian and low class Pacific opponents but struggling against established rugby nations.