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BOULDER, Colo. – Harlequins can today confirm that it has entered into a strategic partnership with USA Rugby to help grow the game in one of the sport’s fastest growing markets.

David Ellis, Chief Executive of Harlequins commented: “This is a significant day for Harlequins as we announce our long term plans for our involvement with rugby in the United States.

“USA Rugby is developing rapidly, with well-founded ambitions to compete for the highest honours on the rugby world stage in the coming years. 

“The bedrock of this ambition is strong community programmes, from youth to college to club, as well as the development of a strong professional game to capture and nurture the fabulous athletes that are prevalent across America.

“Today we are committing our expertise and widespread resource into a developing partnership with USA Rugby to strengthen our great sport here in the United States.”

The partnership will enable the continuing development of rugby union in America, assisting the sport’s governing body to bridge the gap between the Amateur and Professional games as well as supporting player pathways for all age groups.

A key focus will be on augmenting the sport at grassroots level and developing the professional game across both 7s and 15s in men’s and women’s rugby, in conjunction with the existing bodies who currently deliver the sport.

Harlequins will continue to work with its existing affiliate clubs, Dallas Harlequins and Hawaii Harlequins to build and strengthen their activity locally, while simultaneously creating additional relationships in other areas of the country.

As an extension of Sunday’s match, Harlequins and USA Rugby will continue to facilitate exhibition matches on an annual basis for Harlequins to compete in to help grow the game’s audiences globally.

The partnership will help drive the Harlequins brand across America, developing it into new territories and new businesses to continue to grow the Club’s sustainability.

Nigel Melville, USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer added: “We are incredibly excited to be playing host to Harlequin FC this weekend.

“Harlequins is a global rugby brand with existing ties to a number of Clubs across the globe and we are delighted to be partnering with them to support the development of the game across our country.

“This is the beginning of what promises to be a strong partnership with an established rugby brand.”