Ireland to visit United States in June

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 21:46
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NEWS: Ireland will face the United States in a June Test match in suburban New York.

The Eagles and Irish will meet on June 10 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

It's the same venue where London Irish and Saracens of the English Premiership played a regular-season match last March before nearly 15,000 people.

The Irish return to US soil for the first time since defeating New Zealand before 62,000 people last November at Chicago's Soldier Field, their first triumph over the All Backs in 111 years of fixtures.

"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," USA Rugby Chief Executive Dan Payne said.

"This match will not only give our men a world class opponent as we prepare for the road ahead, but they're also clearly a fan favourite in the United States."

For the Americans, the match will be a critical tune-up for a home-and-home Rugby World Cup qualifying series against Canada on June 24 and July 1.

For Ireland, it will kick off a tour that will feature matches in Japan on June 17 and 24.

Ireland defeated the Americans 15-12 in their most recent meeting in June 2013 at Houston, Texas.

The Irish are currently competing in the Six Nations series against top European rivals while the Eagles are unbeaten in a similarly styled event, the Americas Rugby Championship.

"It is great to be returning to the US this summer," Irish Rugby Football Union chief executive Philip Browne said. "The team received a fantastic reception in Chicago last November.

"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 have been reports of interest from top European leagues for possible US and Canadian expansion.

Agence France-Presse