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"London Irish are poised to become the first British club to host a top-flight competitive fixture overseas by taking a Premiership match to the United States next season, Telegraph Sport can reveal.
It is understood that the Premiership club are in advanced negotiations to stage a match in New York close to St Patrick’s Day on March 17 next year as part of a three-year deal to play one game in the US for the next three seasons.
Premier League football first floated the idea of staging a host a “39th game” outside of England in 2008, but it was shelved because of opposi
tion from supporters and media. But Premiership Rugby now appears to be on the verge of ­trumping its counterpart by taking a competitive league match to a potentially lucrative overseas market.
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It is understood that the move already has the backing of the rest of the clubs in the Premiership and has been drafted into next season’s fixture schedule.

London Irish could play a match in New York next year
It is thought that a number of leading clubs have declared an interest in taking part in what one source described as a “historic and groundbreaking” contest, but moves to determine the opposition will be put in place only once the deal to take the game to New York has been signed.
Negotiations are expected to ­continue next month, both between Premiership Rugby and USA Rugby, and between London Irish and commercial partners in New York including stadium owners, to ensure that the game is financially viable. But there is an expectation in many quarters that the fixture will be signed off before the fixtures for next season are published on July 3.
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The Rugby Football Union would also have to agree with USA Rugby for the fixture to proceed but there is no expectation that the English governing body would oppose it.
“It is hopefully just a matter of getting over the line now, the aspiration to play a Premiership match in America has been there for some time but now it looks like it will come off,” one source said. “This would be massive both for the Premiership clubs and in terms of helping to raise the profile of the game in America.”
London Irish already stage a highly popular St Patrick’s Day fixture at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, to which it regularly attracts crowds of more than 20,000. It is thought that the club hope to tap into the Irish-American demography in New York, with sources suggesting that they could attract a crowd of up to 80,000, possibly at MetLife Stadium, the home to the New York Giants and New York Jets, the American football sides.

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The Telegraph revealed previously that Saracens had attempted to host a Heineken Cup match against Munster at that stadium in December 2012 but were thwarted by problems in erecting rugby posts in the artificial turf.
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Nigel Melville, the former England scrum-half and Wasps director of rugby who is the chief executive of USA Rugby, has been at the forefront of attempting to grow the profile of the game by building a relationship with the English clubs.
“It is a potential opportunity and it would be of interest and we will see what happens,” Melville said. “Any rugby that is played in the US that helps people engage in the game is great for the sport.”
The move by London Irish is regarded as the key development in the “strategic alliance” that was established between Premiership Rugby and USA Rugby last year.
Last October the English clubs took the unprecedented move of releasing their American players based in England, such as Northampton’s Samu Manoa, Leicester’s Blaine Scully and Saracens’ Chris Wyles, so they could play against New Zealand at Soldier Field in Chicago, even though the match fell outside World Rugby’s international window.
Premiership Rugby also hosted two American sides in their international sevens tournament last year.
America, who will host the Sevens World Cup in 2018, are attempting to establish a professional league and it is expected that hosting a Premiership fixture will not only help that process but also interest US broadcasters. Harlequins will also face the US Eagles on Aug 30 at Philadelphia’s PPL Park in a World Cup warm-up match as part of the Premiership’s side long-term plan to grow their brand in America, where they already have an affiliate club in Dallas as well as several others across the world."

Fonte: The Telegraph