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The London Irish of the Aviva Premiership are reportedly close to inking a deal to play a regular season Premiership match in New York next year sometime around St. Patrick's Day. This would mark the first match of its kind on American soil, a la the NFL playing regular season games in abroad. The 2016 match would reportedly be the first of a three-year deal.
The opponent is not decided, but multiple Premiership clubs have apparently expressed interest in participating. An exact date nor a venue have been divulged.
“It is hopefully just a matter of getting over the line now, the aspiration to play a Premiership match in America has been there for some time but now it looks like it will come off,” one source was quoted as saying by The Telegraph. “This would be massive both for the Premiership clubs and in terms of helping to raise the profile of the game in America.”
“It is a potential opportunity and it would be of interest and we will see what happens,” USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville told the London paper. “Any rugby that is played in the US that helps people engage in the game is great for the sport.”