| 16.7°C Belfast

Prem clubs to release US stars


Northampton and US Eagles forward Samu Manoa

Northampton and US Eagles forward Samu Manoa

Northampton and US Eagles forward Samu Manoa

American players based in the Aviva Premiership will be released for the US Eagles' game against world champions New Zealand on November 1.

The match, which will be played in Chicago at the Chicago Bears' 61,500-capacity Soldier Field home, falls outside the International Rugby Board's autumn Test window.

Premiership clubs would not have been obliged to release non-English players, but Premiership Rugby confirmed an agreement had been reached with USA Rugby that Premiership players selected for the fixture would be made available.

Northampton forward Samu Manoa, Saracens' Chris Wyles and Leicester back Blaine Scully are among those likely to be part of the Eagles' plans against the All Blacks.

And the news has been welcomed by USA Rugby chief executive Nigel Melville, the former Wasps and Gloucester rugby director.

"This is a significant milestone in the development of the game in the USA," Melville said.

"It is unfortunate that such an historic game could not be played under the (IRB) regulation nine release window.

"We will be playing the world champions, New Zealand, in an iconic football stadium, in front of a record 60,000 capacity crowd with a live broadcast via NBC with a reach of over 115million homes in the USA.

"It is a huge opportunity for our players, coaches and fans to participate in this game and we appreciate the support of Premiership Rugby regarding player release for the game.

"The other three matches in November provide opportunities for some of our younger players to play for the Eagles and to stake their claim for a place in the 2015 Rugby World Cup."

Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty added: "We have a very good relationship with USA Rugby and we have responded to their request to ensure all their best players are available to play against New Zealand, on what will be an historic occasion.

"As we help grow the sport in the USA, it is essential to support a match of this quality which has clearly captured the interest of the American supporters."

It will be New Zealand's first competitive appearance in the USA since 1980.

Rugby Round Up Newsletter

Exclusives and expert analysis from the sports team straight to your inbox

This field is required

Top Videos