OKINAWA, 22 Sep - USA scrum-half Shaun Davies hopes to renew old rivalries when the Eagles tackle England at the Kobe Misaki Stadium on 26 September.
Durban-born Davies lined up against Owen Farrell and George Ford when they were all teenagers and was bowled over by the duo's abilities.
After he moved to Utah to attend college in 2009, Davies's talents were swiftly spotted by the Eagles. A year later, having impressed while playing for the regional Pacific Coast Grizzlies, Davies toured England with an All American XV, an U20s team.
On that trip he played against English academy sides from Saracens and the Premiership champions that year, Leicester Tigers.
"I played against a young Owen Farrell at Saracens," Davies said. "I also played against George Ford when he was at Leicester. I think George was about 16 and he carved us up.
"George was pinging the ball into the corners, his boot was impeccable and we thought, 'who is this kid?'
"I looked at the team sheet after the game and thought, 'I’ll remember that name'. You could tell at that stage those two were going to come through and be something amazing.”
Davies, pictured in action against Brazil, has started five out of eight matches for the Eagles this year, and after missing selection for RWC 2015 he is itching to make his World Cup debut.
"In 2015, I was pretty close to making the squad and then got cut right before the tournament. It’s been a long time coming."
Davies, 30, plays his club rugby at the Glendale Raptors in Major League Rugby. When it comes to his role in the national side, he says head coach Gary Gold is clear on what he wants.
"He’s very open, he’s very good at communicating and we all know what our roles are.
"I’m getting a little older now so I look at myself more as a good communicator, good at bossing the boys around. I’m more about doing the right thing at the right time.
"I like to make the guys around me look good as opposed to looking for the gap myself. If it comes it comes, but I prefer giving the other guys more time on the ball.”