USA Rugby to host legendary New Zealand All Blacks in Washington, DC on Saturday, October 23, at FedExField

Washington, DC (July 26, 2021) – The U.S. Men’s National Rugby Team, The Eagles, will host the most successful rugby team on the planet, the New Zealand All Blacks, for the first time ever in Washington, DC when they square off on Saturday, October 23, 2021 in the inaugural 1874 Cup, at FedExField. It will be the first time the All Blacks have played in the United States since 2016.

The 1874 Cup references the year rugby was first played in the United States, a collegiate match between McGill and Harvard University.  The 1874 Cup celebrates the long and ever growing history the United States has with the game of rugby. 

“As the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, Events DC is honored to partner with USA Rugby and Left Field Live to bring premier international rugby to DC,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. “Our region is home to a robust and passionate rugby community at both amateur and professional levels. The opportunity to host the iconic New Zealand All Blacks for the first time ever in our nation’s capital alongside USA Rugby will showcase Washington, DC as a dynamic, global sports destination to the world. Together with our partners at Old Glory DC, we look forward to attracting more world-class rugby to our nation’s capital including the Rugby World Cup.”

“This is a landmark announcement for our organization, as it marks the first step in our commitment to host the globally captivating sport of rugby, along with the millions of fans devoted to it around the world,” said Washington Football Team President Jason Wright. “We could not be happier to host this Test Match at FedExField, as it demonstrates our business vision to attract global sporting events, such as future Rugby World Cup matches, that we know quench the thirst of our diverse and sports-obsessed DMV region. Our organization looks forward to making this a memorable event and supporting a robust week of activity for the global rugby community.”

Internationally renowned for their incomparable success and world-famous pre-game tradition, the haka, the All Blacks have a global following that goes well beyond rugby.

All Blacks Captain Sam Cane said the All Blacks would be looking forward to a “special game” against the USA.

“We’ve really loved it every time we have gone there.  I know the team is excited about getting to America and particularly going to Washington, DC for the first time. It will be a historic match with a lot of meaning behind it and we hope that the rugby fans there really get behind the game. We can’t wait.”

All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster added: “We’re really excited to again be going back to the United States. To go to Washington, DC for a first-ever All Blacks Test there will be exciting for the team.

We’ve had a couple of great experiences in the US already, albeit with one bad result against Ireland in 2016.  But our game against the USA in 2014 was highly memorable, with real excitement from the crowd and huge interest in the All Blacks.  So hopefully it’s another chance to grow the game of rugby there.”

The USA Eagles are coming off their first assembly since 2019 and look ahead to a busy fall with qualification for the 2023 France Rugby World Cup in focus. The United States are hosting both New Zealand and Ireland this fall as they lead the effort to bring the Rugby World Cup to the United States in 2027 or 2031 for the men and 2029 for the women.

“This is a special match for all of us within the USA Rugby community, taking on one of the world’s best in our nation’s capital. With the Men’s Eagles having last played on the east coast in 2017, we’re thrilled to welcome eager fans to what is always a special experience facing the All Blacks. Paired with our match against Ireland in Las Vegas the following week, this is an exciting stretch for fans in each corner of the country. No doubt both iconic venues for us to continue momentum toward a host bid for the Rugby World Cup in the United States,” said USA Rugby CEO, Ross Young.

Current USA Head Coach Gary Gold echoed Young’s sentiment.   “It’s exciting to round out our fall test schedule with a fixture against the All Blacks. It’s no secret this team is, and has been, one of the best in the world and the opportunity to go head-to-head at home is special. As the Rugby World Cup will be less than two years out and we look forward to heading into this Rugby World Cup caliber match.”

“The New Zealand All Blacks have been the most successful sporting team on the planet for the past century,” said Old Glory DC founder Paul Sheehy. “Having them play at FedEx Field in the Nation’s Capital is a dream come true for local rugby fans. The opportunity for American rugby players to test their mettle against the best is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I expect they will be up to the challenge.” A former USA Rugby Eagle, Paul Sheehy faced the All Blacks during the 1991 Rugby World Cup. 

 

“Old Glory is committed to growing rugby in Greater Washington,” said Old Glory DC Chairman Chris Dunlavey.  “And here in D.C., people truly appreciate the value of seeing the very best in the world.  Bringing the Eagles and the All Blacks here to play will get new eyeballs on the sport within our local market and build awareness of what a great game rugby is – to watch, to play, and to celebrate.  We’re honored to partner with Events DC and Left Field Live to bring this match to our fans.”

Old Glory DC 2022 Season Ticket holders and 2022 Season Ticket deposit holders will have access to a pre-sale window.  2022 Season Ticket Deposits are available HERE.

Ticket pre-sale opens on Wednesday, July 28th.  General public on sale opens at 10.00am EST on Friday, July 30th. For tickets visit Ticketmaster.com. Full event details are available at washingtonfootball.com/rugby

Media Contacts:

Steve Winter – 202-468-8100, swinter@aboutsage.com

Brian Bishop – 202-468-8400, bbishop@aboutsage.com

ABOUT THE ALL BLACKS

With a history extending back more than a century, New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks, is not only the most successful international rugby team of all time but also one of the most successful teams in world sport, with a winning Test record of more than 75 percent. The All Blacks play European opponents every year in the Steinlager Series and again at the end of the year, and play Argentina, Australia and South Africa annually in the Investec Rugby Championship. In 2015 the All Blacks became the first team to win back-to-back Rugby World Cups, following their victory in 2011, and the first team to win three RWCs, with the All Blacks winning the inaugural Tournament in 1987. In 2013 they became the first international team in the professional era to go through the season unbeaten. The team has been named the World Rugby Team of the Year a record nine times and was Laureus Team of the Year in 2016.

ABOUT USA RUGBY

Founded in 1975, USA Rugby is the national governing body for the sport of rugby in America, and a Full Sport Member of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and World Rugby. Currently headquartered in Glendale, Colorado, USA Rugby is charged with developing the game on all levels with over 110,000 active members. USA Rugby oversees four senior national teams, multiple Junior National Teams and an emerging Olympic development pathway for elite athletes. In 2009, Rugby returned to the Olympic movement. In 2011, USA Rugby became a full sport member of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and is now recognized by the USOPC as the governing body for rugby in the USA. Rugby Sevens is now played in the Olympic Games, next upcoming in Tokyo 2021.

ABOUT 1874 CUP

The first account of organised rugby being played in the United States was in 1874 in a collegiate match between Harvard University (Boston, MA) and McGill University (Montreal, Quebec).  The 1874 Cup pays homage to this first contest and recognizes the history and tradition of rugby in North America.  Planned as a regular event attracting the world’s best rugby teams to the United States capital city, Washington, DC, the 1874 Cup is designed to help grow awareness and interest in the sport amongst Americans as the country bids to host the Rugby World Cup in either 2027 or 2031 for the men and 2029 for the women.  

ABOUT EVENTS DC

Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, delivers premier event services and flexible venues across the nation’s capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District’s hospitality and tourism economy that hosts more than 1.7 million visitors and generates more than $400 million annually in total economic impact, and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the RFK Stadium-Armory Campus (RFK Campus), including Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Festival Grounds at RFK Campus, The Fields at RFK Campus, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and the Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Stay current on the 190-acre RFK Campus Redevelopment Project at www.RFKFields.com. Events DC also built and serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. Events DC manages Gateway DC, R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center and Entertainment & Sports Arena, all conveniently located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. Find us on social media – Facebook (Events DC), Twitter (@TheEventsDC and @TheEventsDC_SED for the Sports Entertainment and Special Events Division), and Instagram (@EventsDC).

ABOUT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AND FEDEXFIELD

Headquartered at Inova Sports Performance Center in Ashburn, Virginia, and owned by Daniel Snyder, the historic Washington Football Team has won five World Championship titles including the 1937 and 1942 National Football League Championship games, as well as Super Bowls XVII, XXII and XXVI. Founded in 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts, the team relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1937. Since then, the Washington Football Team has become one of the most recognizable professional sports franchises in history, featuring multiple Hall of Fame coaches, 19 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and one recipient of the Walter Payton Man of The Year Award, Darrell Green.  Dan Snyder has been owner of the Washington Football Team since 1999, and beginning in 1997, the Team began playing their home games at FedExField, a multi-purpose stadium located in Landover, MD and recognized as the region’s hub for global stadium concert tours, major sporting events, and more.

ABOUT LEFT FIELD LIVE

Left Field Live (LFL) is an international live sports events business created to help sports rights holders reach new and interesting markets.   LFL has delivered events across a range of sports including rugby union, international soccer, ice hockey, basketball, college football and baseball into markets like Australia, North America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.  Left Field Live is the promoter for the 1874 Cup.

About Old Glory DC

Old Glory is the first and only professional rugby team in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. Established in 2018, Old Glory DC competes in Major League Rugby (MLR), a North American league that includes teams in New York, Boston, Atlanta, Toronto, Houston, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Austin, Seattle, and Los Angeles. The team was founded by life-long DC area residents, business leaders, and rugby players Chris Dunlavey and Paul Sheehy.  In 2019, the Scottish Rugby Union joined the partnership, committing both financial investment and operational support to the organization.  The 2021 Major League Rugby season kicks off on March 20th, 2021. For more, visit oldglorydc.com.