OSAKA, 12 Oct – Whatever the outcome of their final pool game against Tonga, USA's assistant coach Greg McWilliams said there are plenty of positives for the Eagles to take out of Rugby World Cup 2019.
Both sides go into the game at Hanazono Rugby Stadium on Sunday hunting a first win but, in terms of lessons learned, McWilliams feels the benefits for his side have been enormous, despite defeats against England, France and Argentina.
The soon-to-be head coach of Major League side Rugby United New York said: "At this level you’re playing against Tier 1 countries with some of the best players in the world.
"Argentina was full of Jaguares (runners-up in Super Rugby), the French team was full of (national champions) Toulousains, the English team was full of (European champions) Saracens.
"All are achieving high success. For us to compete against them is incredible. We’ve learned a huge amount.
"If we can only get this level of competition every year we’ll have a real opportunity to improve."
Tonga have been making the same point for a long while and McWilliams is looking forward to the two facing each other on Sunday.
"I love this Tongan’s team culture," he said. "I love why they play and who they’re playing for.
"For us to be in that environment is so special and that’s a big thing for us – to take this experience, live every single second of it and have a good time."