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:
“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.”
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.”
San Diego Legion Owner, Ryan Patterson 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.”
Pre-Sale opens 12:00PM PST Wednesday, January 31 and general public tickets go on sale 9:00AM PST Friday, February 2.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
+1 (619) 708 6007
On behalf of TEG Rugby Live
ABOUT ALL BLACKS
The All Blacks With a history extending back more than a century, New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks, is not only the most successful international rugby team of all time but also one of the most successful teams in world sport, with a winning Test record of more than 75 percent. The All Blacks play European opponents every year in the Steinlager Ultra Low Carb Series and again at the end of the year, and play Argentina, Australia and South Africa annually in the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship. The All Blacks were crowned Rugby World Cup Champions in 2011 and 2015 to add to their Webb Ellis Cup win in the inaugural Tournament in 1987.
ABOUT NEW ZEALAND RUGBY
About New Zealand Rugby (NZR): Founded in 1892, New Zealand Rugby strives to inspire and unify New Zealanders through rugby. Our goal is to lead, support, grow and promote New Zealand’s national game, putting rugby at the heart of every community. NZR’s high performance system strives to promote competitions our fans love, nurture talent that can represent our Teams in Black* with mana and be world leading on and off the field.
*NZR’s Teams in Black – All Blacks, Black Ferns, All Blacks Sevens, Black Ferns Sevens, Māori All Blacks, All Blacks XV and New Zealand Under-20.
ABOUT FIJI RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION TRUST BOARD
Fiji Rugby Football Union Trust Board is the governing body for the sport of rugby union in Fiji. With a rich history and tradition of excellence, Fiji Rugby is recognized globally for its competitive national teams and its commitment to developing the sport at all levels.
The Flying Fijians are proudly sponsored by FIJI Water, ensuring Earth’s finest rugby players and rugby fans are hydrated by Earth’s Finest Water.
ABOUT TEG RUGBY LIVE
TEG Rugby Live is a producer and promoter of live rugby events featuring the world’s biggest and oldest rugby teams. TEG Rugby Live is owned by TEG, a leading global live entertainment, ticketing, and technology business which operates globally and includes Ticketek, Ticketek Marketplace, Ticketek UK, Ticketek New Zealand, Ticketek Malaysia, Ticketek Philippines, Ticketek Singapore, Eventopia, Softix, TEG Dainty, TEG Sport, TEG Van Egmond, Laneway Festival, Handsome Tours, SXSW Sydney, TEG Theatrical, MJR Presents, TEG Life Like Touring, Brickman, TEG Rockefeller, TEG Sport, TEG Europe, Propaganda, TEG Live USA, Qudos Bank Arena, FAN+, VIP NOW, and Ovation.
ABOUT SNAPDRAGON STADIUM
Snapdragon Stadium is a 35,000-seat multipurpose venue owned by San Diego State University and managed by OVG360. As part of SDSU Mission Valley, Snapdragon Stadium serves as a year-round entertainment destination and hub of community engagement. The venue is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification and manages sustainability efforts as a top priority. Snapdragon Stadium is home to SDSU Aztec Football, San Diego Wave FC of the National Women’s Soccer League, San Diego Legion of Major League Rugby, and newly announced MLS team, San Diego FC. In addition to tenant events, Snapdragon Stadium will host a myriad of events including concerts, festivals, dirt shows, international sporting events, championships, community events, private and corporate events and more. Visit SnapdragonStadium.com for more information.