All Blacks to play USA in Washington

The All Blacks will undertake an ambitious schedule which includes a European tour next year....
The All Blacks will play the US in October. File photo: Getty Images
The All Blacks will play the United States in Washington in October on their way to their end-of-year tour in Europe.

The test is designed to grow interest in the sport amongst Americans in hopes of staging a future Rugby World Cup, the US organisers said.

The October 23 test, to be played at the home of the National Football League's Washington Football Team, will be the first time the All Blacks have played in the US since 2016.

"I know the team is excited about getting to America and particularly going to Washington, DC 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. We can't wait."

The USA Eagles are coming off their first assembly since 2019 and are looking ahead to a busy fall with qualification for the 2023 France Rugby World Cup in focus.

The October test is being billed as the 1874 Cup, which is a reference to the first account of organised rugby being played in the US. 

It is planned as a regular event designed to grow awareness in the sport amongst Americans as the country bids to host the Rugby World Cup in either 2027 or 2031 for the men and 2029 for the women.

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

"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 there."

The USA Eagles are coming off their first assembly since 2019 and look ahead to a busy schedule with qualification for the 2023 France Rugby World Cup in focus.

The United States are hosting both New Zealand and Ireland as they lead the effort to bring the Rugby World Cup to the United States in 2027 or 2031 for the men and 2029 for the women.

 - additional reporting Reuters

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