San Diego Legion

All Blacks vs Flying Fijians in San Diego July 19 at Snapdragon

January 31, 2024 - Major League Rugby (MLR)
San Diego Legion News Release

Two of the biggest drawcards in World Rugby, New Zealand and Fiji, will face off for the first time on American soil at San Diego's Snapdragon Stadium, on Friday, July 19 at 7:30 PM.

The Steinlager Ultra Low Carb Series match will be the All Blacks third Test match in 2024 and promises to be a tough and entertaining contest between two teams known for their expansive running rugby.

The two Pacific nations will draw rugby fans from all over the country with an electric, attacking brand of rugby that will help continue to grow and develop rugby within the United States as it builds toward hosting both the men's and women's Rugby World Cup in 2031 and 2033, respectively.

Both the All Blacks and Fiji Water Flying Fijians currently sit among the top ten ranked teams in the world and had positive results at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France with the All Blacks beaten finalists, narrowly missing out on their fourth World Cup title, and Fiji beating Australia for the first time in 69 years and making the quarter-finals, equalling their best ever finish.

This will be the twelfth time the two sides have met since their first Test in Suva in 1974 when the home team Fiji narrowly lost 14-13. It will be first time the two teams have played on neutral soil and the first time the Fiji Water Flying Fijians have played in the USA, with the All Blacks last playing in America in 2021.

New Zealand rugby legend Ma'a Nonu, who has played 103 Tests for the All Blacks and recently signed on for another season with the San Diego Legion, and Fijian legend Waisale Serevi, a member of the World Rugby Hall of Fame, are in San Diego to announce the match alongside key members of the San Diego Legion.

New Zealand Rugby CEO, Mark Robinson said:[GU2][GU3]

"We're really excited to be taking the All Blacks to San Diego to play Fiji. It's been a long-held ambition for New Zealand Rugby and part of our wider strategy to increase the visibility and understanding of rugby in North America and to build our brand presence ahead of the men's and women's Rugby World Cups in 2031 and 2033 respectively.

"The All Blacks and Fiji share a deep connection to the game of rugby and to the Pacific region and we'd like to thank USA Rugby and our event partner TEG Rugby Live for embracing the opportunity to bring this Test to America.

"We want to deliver an event that will capture the imagination of sports fans across the United States and showcases the best qualities of our game. It promises to be unique and entertaining afternoon of rugby and Pacific culture, and a great advertisement for the game."

Fiji Rugby Special Administrator, Simione Valenitabua said:

"The Trustees of the Fiji Rugby Football Union Trust Board (FRFUTB) view this upcoming test as a significant opportunity for the development of rugby. Playing against a top-tier nation not only enhances the skill and experience of our players but also opens more avenues for Fiji to engage in matches against esteemed teams like the All Blacks. This move aligns with our commitment to advancing the sport's growth and providing thrilling rugby experiences for our global fan base."

"This test against the All Blacks by our FIJI Water Flying Fijians, will draw Fijians domestically in the USA and internationally from all over the world, including our people back home in Fiji. All Fijians will relish this opportunity to watch our FIJI Water Flying Fijians and overseas players, as well as the new coaching team to be announced soon, set a benchmark for the next World Cup cycle up to the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia."

Ross Young, CEO Of USA Rugby said:

"We have had a lack of international fixtures over the last 18mths but this will be a great addition to a huge year for rugby in the United States for our men's and women's National Teams. This game will give us a real taste of things to come and will be a key part in kick starting growth at all levels ahead of hosting Rugby World Cup's in 2031 and 2033, respectively."

TEG Group, CEO, Geoff Jones said:

"TEG is honoured to be working with the All Blacks and Flying Fijians once again in what will be an amazing event.

"Rugby union is only growing in the United States of America and we're thrilled to be able to bring two of the most exciting brands in International Rugby to San Diego and to the world class stadium that is Snapdragon Stadium."

Ryan Patterson, San Diego Legion said:

"San Diego Legion is thrilled to play a vital role in bringing together two of the most world-renowned rugby teams, the All Blacks and the Flying Fijians, in our vibrant city. As an iconic destination for rugby fans, this event highlights the pivotal role San Diego Legion plays in elevating and growing the sport of rugby in the United States.

With a vibrant Pacific Islands population in Southern California, this event is more than a game; it's a historic moment. For the first time, the world's preeminent rugby brand, the All Blacks, will play in a stadium used in Major League Rugby.

We can't wait to witness this historic matchup and extend a warm welcome to fans at the world-class Snapdragon Stadium."

Ryan Patterson

Owner, San Diego Legion

Sports San Diego CEO, Mark Neville said:

"We are fired up to be bringing two of the best rugby teams in the world to San Diego for another iconic event. It will surely be a highlight of our summer and will act as a springboard to continue the growth of rugby in San Diego and the United States."

Pre-Sale opens 12:00PM PST Wednesday, January 31 and general public tickets go on sale 9:00AM PST Friday, February 2.

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