Sun, 19 Sep 2021

All Blacks to play USA Eagles in October

27 Jul 2021, 04:13 GMT+10

New Zealand will return to the United States for their first rugby union match since losing to Ireland in 2016 when they face the United States at Washington.

Organizers of the inaugural 1874 Cup announced details of the match on Monday, with the contest slated for October 23 at FedEx Field, home of the NFL's Washington Football Team.

The 1874 Cup denotes the first rugby match played on US soil, between Harvard University and Canada's McGill, as the Americans hope to boost US interest in the sport and awareness ahead of a bid for the 2027 or 2031 Rugby World Cup or 2029 Women's World Cup.

When the All Blacks visited Chicago five years ago to face Ireland, New Zealand lost 40-29, giving the Irish their first win in the fixture in 111 years.

"We're really excited to again be going back to the United States. To go to Washington for a first-ever All Blacks test there will be exciting for the team," coach Ian Foster said.

"We've had a couple of great experiences in the US already, albeit with one bad result against Ireland in 2016, but our game against the USA in 2014 was highly memorable, with real excitement from the crowd and huge interest in the All Blacks.

"So hopefully it's another chance to grow the game of rugby."

The Eagles, who will face Ireland the following week in Las Vegas, will receive a world-class tuneup as they prepare for the 2023 World Cup in France.

"It's exciting to round out our fall test schedule with a fixture against the All Blacks," US coach Gary Gold said. "It's no secret this team is, and has been, one of the best in the world and the opportunity to go head-to-head at home is special."

The 82,000-seat venue is US capital suburbs hopes to host Rugby World Cup matches from a successful US bid.

"I know the team is excited about getting to America and particularly going to Washington for the first time," All Blacks captain Sam Cane said. "It will be a historic match with a lot of meaning behind it and we hope that the rugby fans there really get behind the game."

Source: News24

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