Ireland are set to play a Test in the USA again this year when they face off with the Eagles in New Jersey on Saturday, June 10.
After notching an historic win over the All Blacks at Soldier Field in Chicago last year, it has been confirmed that Ireland will do battle with the USA at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, which is the same venue that hosted a Premiership match between Saracens and London Irish in March 2016.
The Irish Rugby Football Union’s chief executive, Philip Browne, confirmed news of the match via a press statement.
“It is great to be returning to the US,” read the statement.
“The team received a fantastic reception in Chicago.”
The announcement of the Test is interesting as it was recently reported that the PRO12 are planning to place teams in the US and Canada with Houston and Toronto earmarked as possible venues.
According to a report in the Scotsman newspaper, the PRO12’s chief executive, Martin Anayi, visited Houston earlier this month.
In light of the PRO12’s reported plans to establish a two-division Atlantic Rugby Championship, Browne added: “There are a lot of Ireland rugby fans on the east coast of America and we hope that they will again come out in numbers to support the team this summer.”
There were plans to for a second Premiership match to be played in New Jersey in 2017 but London Irish’s relegation complicated the issue.
USA Rugby chief executive Dan Payne expressed his delight that Ireland will be playing in his country again and highlighted the development value of the Test.
“We are very honored to be hosting Ireland,” he told the Guardian.
“The value they provided to rugby history throughout the world and toward the growth and awareness of the game in our country this past November in Chicago was phenomenal.
“This match will not only give our men a world class opponent … but they’re also clearly a fan favourite in the United States. With 35 million Americans claiming Irish American heritage in our country, this match will be a strong fit on all levels.”