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English Premiership matches could be played in USA

Premiership Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty

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Article Published: Friday 16 May 2014|

A number of English Premiership Rugby clubs ars said to be looking at playing competitive rugby matches in the United States from next season.

The USA are regulars in the global showpiece event the Rugby World Cup and the USA has been identified as a potentially large market for the game.

"We are working on plans for a game out there," chief executive of Premiership Rugby Mark McCafferty told The Times.

"There are opportunities; we have to find the right entry point and the right time."

"We have got to recognise that it will build. It is slowly beginning to come through (in the U.S.). They have players who are beginning to come through."

Clubs such as London Irish who are also known as the Exiles are said to be considering moving one of their home matches to Boston or New York to tap into the Irish community in those markets. .

Saracens and Leicester Tigers are considering taking up the opportunity of being the away side for the match but Leicester chief executive Simon Cohen has warned about the potential costs.

"There has been some talk and there would be a desire from our part to be involved. In practise, somebody has to put a deal on the table because it is not a cheap deal - you are probably looking at 100,000 pounds ($168,700)for one team to be out there.

"There are all sorts of sponsorship deals that may reduce that cost but it is not as cheap as playing on the other side of the east Midlands."

Rugby World Cup champions New Zealand are expected to announce that they will play a Test match against the USA in Chicago later this year in November before their annual trip to Europe.

An increasing number of American players in playing their domestic game in England and France as the talent pool widens.

Other codes of sport such as the NBA and NFL have regularly held competitive matches in London.

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