Report: All Blacks to face USA in big-money test
NEWS: 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.
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, coached by Gary Gold, was initially planned to be held at the 70 000-capacity Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
However 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 $2-3million, 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.
The United States, meanwhile, are ranked 16th in the world and could be grouped with the All Blacks at the 2023 World Cup in France if they qualify for the tournament as Americas 1 in October.
News of the potential test in Washington DC comes as NZR continues negotiations for a $387.5million of a 12.5 percent share of it commercial rights to Silicon Valley-based investment firm Silver Lake.
The test, should it go ahead as planned, will bring the All Blacks’ total number of tests for 2021 to 15 and will act as the opening test of their end-of-year tour where they will face Wales, Ireland, France and Italy in successive weeks.