It was announced today that the Saracens Football Club will travel to Harrison, NJ to take on the London Irish on March 16. These teams will face each other in a Aviva Premiership Rugby regular season game.
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.”
The London Irish is club based in the UK. They were founded in 1898 and one of the founding members of the Aviva Premiership Rugby. The Saracens are one of the longest running sports club in the world, being founded in 1876.
This should be an interesting venture that USA Rugby is hosting. Falling very similar in action to what Rugby Law, LLC attempts to do something similar this past summer. We’ll see how this will work out down the line. The question has to be asked, does the USA Rugby population crave professional Rugby, or do they crave the USA to have their own professional rugby league? Personally, I believe that while the idea of bringing professionals to the USA to play, overall it’s simply a band-aid to the larger issue of the lack of pro rugby in the United States. I expect moderate success from these events at best. The lack of connection between the general Rugby fan and these pro teams, and an even greater lack of connection between the non-Rugby sports fan and these pro rugby teams will lead to a lackluster output for this match.
We’ll see what happens in March.