London Irish Face Saracens In Aviva Premiership Rugby Match at Red Bull Arena

January 13, 2016

London Irish Face Saracens In Aviva Premiership Rugby Match at Red Bull Arena


Photo: Aviva Premiership Rugby – London Irish v Saracens

Doug Coil

The match between the London Irish and the Saracens is a match of historic significance. This is the first time that a regular season Aviva Premiership Rugby match is being played in the United States. This is a London Irish home match and will be played at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey on Saturday 12th March 2016. Match tickets are on sale now at

The United States has been referred to as a “Sleeping Giant” of rugby, however teams worldwide know that there has been tremendous growth of USA Rugby as almost two million people are involved with the sport. The National teams have been playing well and this modes well internationally for coming to the United States and playing rugby. The “Sleeping Giant” is awake and craves access to high caliber matches.

Nigel Melville, the CEO of USA Rugby indicated that “The Premiership are trying to increase their global footprint and just as the NFL are playing games in the UK, the Premiership wanted to play a game in the USA.” He added, “Obviously having two top class team visit the USA to play a meaningful (in season) game is an important development for us, it is an exciting opportunity for the rugby community to raise the profile of the sport and to showcase the top class game to their friends, families and others who we would want to get involved in the game ion rugby and support our efforts here in the USA. Both teams will be running outreach youth programs running into the event and they will be great ambassadors for our sport. There will also be an opportunity for the US Rugby community to watch the game on TV and a significant global audience too.”

The match will indeed showcase two Aviva Premiership Rugby teams that are in a fight in the standings battle. The Saracens top the League tables, but are closely being chased by the Exeter Chiefs and the Harlequins. The Saracens had the distinction of beginning the League season and going undefeated in both League play and in the European Rugby Champions Cup. They also have USA appeal because the Eagles Captain, Chris Wyles has contributed significantly to the Saracens success for many years. Hayden Smith and Titi Lamositele also play for the USA Rugby Eagles National team.

The London Irish started the season slowly, but has been playing excellent rugby over the last two months. They have won consecutive home games and also have two European Rugby Challenge Cup wins.

Having a match in one of the world’s largest metropolitan markets, should prove to be beneficial not only for this match, but for the growth of rugby. It also is being played to coincide with St. Patrick’s day festivities. There is a large Irish heritage contingent living in this area, as well as from Boston to Washington. It is hoped that many will want to attend this match.

The area also has one of the greatest concentrations of rugby clubs, ex pats, and supporters of rugby in the nation. It is expected that rugby supporters will also be traveling from all over the United States, as well as from the United Kingdom.

In an USA Rugby article on October 26th, “Mark McCafferty, Premiership Rugby’s Chief Executive said: “This is a significant day in the history of Premiership Rugby and one that has taken a number of years and a lot of hard work to bring to fruition. Premiership Rugby is the most competitive league in world rugby with a fast-growing following outside England and we are delighted to stage a competitive match in the USA. There are ambitious plans to grow the game in the States and this is the latest stage in that strategy. I’d like to thank both London Irish for their support and vision in making this bold step as well as Saracens and our partners The Legacy Agency Inc and USA Rugby. We firmly believe this will be a great success and will showcase live Aviva Premiership Rugby to a new audience.”

“We are looking forward to bringing these two world class clubs to the New York area for what will be a memorable matchup,” said USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville, who will be advising on the match. “Our sport continues to grow in the United States, and we believe this event will be another big step forward in the growth of the game.”

London Irish boasts one of the largest global followings of any rugby club in the UK. Established in 1898, London Irish became a founding member of Aviva Premiership Rugby in 1996 and have played in England’s top division ever since. They finished as runners-up in 2008-09. Their opponent, Saracens, was founded in 1876, and is one of the longest-running sports clubs in the world. An original member of Premiership Rugby, they have won the title in 2010-11 and 2014-15 and are the current holders of the LV=Cup.”

The Legacy Agency (“TLA”), one of the world’s leading athlete representation, sports and entertainment marketing businesses, will be promoting this event. They also promoted the sold out New Zealand All Blacks vs the USA Eagles match at Chicago’s Soldier Field in 2014.

Red Bull Arena

The Red Bull Arena is a 25,000 capacity stadium that is home to Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls. Opened in March 2010, the Arena has a natural grass pitch and is located  at 600 Cape May Street in Harrison, New Jersey; on the waterfront across the Passaic River from Newark.  Click here  for more information on the Arena’s location.

London Irish Supporter Travel Packages

The London Irish has supporter travel packages which combine flights, airport transfers, accommodation and access to player meet and greet events and will be available with and without match tickets.

They have selected our official travel partner, The Appointment Group, an award-winning global independent travel management company. Please note, for all enquiries regarding travel packages, please contact The Appointment Group directly on  0161 817 2363 .

Please click here to download our travel brochure. To book online please click here. If you still have questions about these packages, please email

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant