USA Rugby’s chief executive Nigel Melville has talked about the possibility of an Aviva Premiership match being staged on the other side of the North Atlantic.
Melville, a former England captain, highlighted the success of the NFL’s expansion with three matches being held in London this year and believes something similar could work for rugby going in the other direction.
He told The Sunday Telegraph: “We’re in talks with PRL (Premier Rugby Limited) about the wider situation. We all want what is best for the game and we want to grow the game. This weekend you have an NFL game coming over to London and there is potential for Premier League soccer in America. I can see rugby taking the same steps.”
There have already been signs of co-operation between PRL and USA Rugby, with American stars such as Northampton’s Samu Manoa and Saracens’ Chris Wyles being given special dispensation to play for their country against New Zealand next Saturday – despite the match falling outside the International Rugby Board’s autumn Test window.
PRL’s chief executive Mark McCafferty told the national newspaper that the two bodies have talked about forging a partnership amid signs that rugby is growing in the United States, with the game against the All Blacks selling out the 61,500-seater Soldier Field stadium in Chicago.
He said: “Essentially we have been working for some time on working up a partnership with USA Rugby. There are several things we are talking to them about doing. It is part of a broader relationship.”