USA Rugby fly in for Premiership talks
August 25, 2013
Could teams like the Leicester Tigers play Aviva Premiership matches in America in the future? © Getty Images
The organisation in charge of the Aviva Premiership is to hold talks with USA Rugby concerning the possibility of an England top-flight game being played in America.
Leicester Tigers' chairman Peter Tom suggested a fortnight ago that talks are underway between Premiership Rugby and their American counterparts. And the news has been confirmed by PRL's CEO Mark McCafferty who will meet with USA Rugby boss Nigel Melville next month to talk through the logistics of taking a game across the Atlantic.
"We are looking to extend our ties with American rugby and open up the US market commercially," McCafferty told the Rugby Paper. "We have had a lot of approaches and a lot of discussions from people who want us to play Premiership matches out there.
"They can see the prospect of getting anything from 50,000 to 70,000 into their stadia. It's quite a step at the moment but I don't rule it out for the future. How quickly it will happen it's difficult to tell. With the right investment it could happen sooner than later. The US is definitely an area we would like to target."
Talks have reportedly taken place with American sides in Washington, Miami, Cleveland and Boston and Melville says the USA will only be interested if it is a top game rather than a pre-season match.
"There's been talk about a pre-season game in the US between two Premiership teams as a warm-up but Americans aren't interested in friendlies," Melville said. "Any game would have to be a real game. The biggest challenge will be finding the right time and the right venue.
"Some baseball stadia will fit a rugby pitch but they are in-season throughout the summer."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column