Cape Town - USA Rugby is confident that the Stormers-Bulls match in Los Angeles will be a significant boost for rugby in the country.
The two Super Rugby rivals will tackle each other in a pre-season encounter in Los Angeles on February 3, 2018.
The match will be played as a curtain-raiser for the clash between the USA Eagles and an Argentina XV at Stub Hub Centre, which forms part of the Americas Rugby Championship.It will be the first time that two Super Rugby sides meet in the United States.Dan Lyle, director of AEG Rugby - who worked directly with Super Rugby to bring the event to America - was enthusiastic about how the game will impact the US market.
“Super Rugby not only represents five countries with strong rugby pedigrees who have cultural ties to the United States; as a league, it represents a dynamic style of the sport that will appeal to US sports fans," Lyle told USA Rugby’s official website on Wednesday.
A former Eagle himself, playing from 1994-2003, Lyle understands the many facets of sport consumption and how the event will serve as an important highlight to one of them.
"While the broadcast of sport is paramount, experiencing the pace and power of rugby first hand and in person is second to none," Lyle continued.
USA Rugby is hoping that the impressive growth in the sport through Southern California, paired with the success of Super Rugby, will create an atmosphere “that is sure to entice audiences at Stub Hub centre”.John Mitchell, a former USA head coach and the Bulls’ current executive of rugby, is looking forward to returning to the United States. "This trip comes at a vital time for us, as we will be far into our pre-season preparations for the 2018 season and there's no doubt that members of our squad will be looking to assert themselves," said Mitchell. "Rugby lovers attending the double header, can expect to be entertained by these to Super Rugby giants."The 2018 Super Rugby tournament starts on Saturday, February 17 when the South African Conference kicks-off with the Stormers hosting the Jaguares in Cape Town. The Lions, runners-up the last two years, host the Sharks in Johannesburg, while Bulls have a bye.