The All Blacks are reportedly set to play in Washington DC for the first time ever in a test match that is expected to earn New Zealand Rugby [NZR] millions in revenue. The USA Men’s National Team XVs will host the most successful rugby team in the sport’s history, the New Zealand All Blacks, for the first time ever in Washington, DC when they square off on Saturday, October 23, 2021 in the inaugural 1874 Cup, at FedEx Field. It will be the first time the All Blacks have played in the United States since 2016.
The 1874 Cup references the year rugby was first played in the United States, a collegiate match between McGill and Harvard University. The 1874 Cup celebrates the long and ever-growing history the United States has with the game of rugby.
USA Rugby CEO, Ross Young noted, “This is a special match for all of us within the USA Rugby community, taking on one of the world’s best in our nation’s capital. With the Men’s Eagles having last played on the east coast in 2017, we’re thrilled to welcome eager fans to what is always a special experience facing the All Blacks. Paired with our match against Ireland in Las Vegas the following week, this is an exciting stretch for fans in each corner of the country. No doubt both are iconic venues for us to continue momentum toward a host bid for the Rugby World Cup in the United States,”
According to a report from the New Zealand Herald, NZR will announce on Monday that the All Blacks will play the United States at the 82,000-capacity FedEx Stadium in the American capital on October 23.
The clash against the Eagles was initially planned to be held at the 70,000-capacity Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, but a fixture clash with the Raiders NFL team has forced the match to be shifted to Washington DC.
The match, which is expected to earn NZR between $2-3m, will be the first meeting between the All Blacks and the USA since 2014, when the Kiwis romped to a 74-6 victory at Soldier Field in Chicago.
This time, though, it is believed the All Blacks will play at the venue that is the home of the Washington Football Team, formerly known as the Redskins.
Despite having played 20 matches across the United States, the All Blacks have never played in Washington DC, but that is set to change when the fixture will reportedly be confirmed at a press conference on Monday.
The last time the All Blacks played in the United States was in Chicago five years ago, when they lost to Ireland in their first-ever defeat to the Emerald Isle.