STAMFORD, Conn – Aug. 19, 2015 – NBCSN will present an international rugby showdown in primetime on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET, when the USA Eagles host the Qantas Wallabies at historic Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs – will stream NBCSN’s coverage of the Eagles-Wallabies matchup.
The match will serve as the final tune-up for both squads prior to the Rugby World Cup 2015 later in the month in England. The Qantas Wallabies, Australia’s national rugby team, will enter the match ranked fifth in the world, while the USA Eagles are ranked 16th. This marks the second straight year NBC Sports Group will present an international rugby match from Soldier Field, following last year’s matchup between the USA Eagles and New Zealand All Blacks on NBC on Nov. 1.
The Eagles will be looking for their first-ever win against the Wallabies, with Australia having taken all eight meetings between the two sides. Their last U.S. meeting was in October 1993, as the Wallabies defeated the Eagles, 26-22, in Riverside, Calif.
Next month’s Eagles-Wallabies clash will feature the traditional 15 players per side. The match comes less than one year away from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, where the seven-a-side format will make its Olympic debut as the sport returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1924. In addition, Universal Sports will air an encore presentation of the match the following Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. ET.
The Legacy Agency, Inc., one of the world’s leading athlete representation and sports and entertainment marketing businesses, is the organizer of the match and co-partner with USA Rugby, with Astellas Healthcare the match’s presenting sponsor.
“NBC Sports has been a great partner for us, and we are looking forward to having this match on the air Labor Day Weekend,” said USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Nigel Melville. “We had a great event last year in Chicago, and are expecting much of the same this year as we prep for the World Cup.”
“Rugby has been a great addition to our live content in recent years, and we’re building off of the success of last year’s Eagles-All Blacks match by adding USA-Australia this year,” said Gary Quinn, Vice President, Programming and Owned Properties. “As we’ve shown with our presentations of the Rugby World Cup, the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, the Sevens World Series and last year’s matchup Eagles-All Blacks, we’re committed to the growth of rugby in the U.S.”
“The excitement for this match has been building over the summer as rugby grows here in the U.S. on a national level, and having NBC Sports on board as our broadcast partner again speaks very loudly to the brand value the sport now has,” said Mike Principe, chief executive officer of The Legacy Agency. “We are looking forward to this match being the next in a series of strong partnerships we are working with USA Rugby on to grow the game.”