NZ stand firm with Lions

Date published: February 4 2015

New Zealand Rugby has stated it won’t sacrifice one of its ten games with the British and Irish Lions should the tourists opt to play a match in the USA.

Reports in the English press have suggested the 2017 side are interested in playing a game against the USA en route to facing the world champions.

But Nigel Cass, NZ Rugby general manager relationships, planning and operations, has insisted they would not drop one of their ten fixtures.

“We are in the very early stages of planning of a ten-match British and Irish Lions Series in New Zealand in 2017,” he told on Wednesday.

“As part of this planning we are currently in an early phase of our bid process to identify potential host cities for both the British and Irish Lions Series and All Blacks test matches in New Zealand in 2016 and 2017.

“While we have a 10-match agreement with the Lions, any fixtures proposed outside that are entirely for the British and Irish Lions to consider.”

New Zealand played the Eagles in Chicago last year in front of 61,500 fans in a game that was shown on NBC.