It has been confirmed that Munster will play the USA national team in Chicago in August as part of the US Eagles’ preparations for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
The match, billed as ‘The Setanta Challenge match’, will take place at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois on Sunday, August 26 with kick-off at 2pm local time.
The stadium, the home of the Chicago Fire soccer team, is 15 minutes south west of downtown Chicago.
USA coach Peter Thorburn said: “We are very excited about this opportunity to play in Chicago. Not only does it allow us essential competition against a high level opponent, but we get to play at a great stadium and showcase the progress of our team one last time in front of a home crowd before we leave for France.”
The game will mark the first occasion that the US Eagles have played in Chicago for several years and US officials are looking forward to a big turn-out at one of the country’s premier soccer stadiums.
USA Rugby has also planned a week of development activities around this match, including youth, referee and coach development clinics, in addition to several opportunities for local clubs to help develop the rugby legacy, at both the national and community level.
Commenting on the fixture, Munster coach Declan Kidney said: “Munster is looking forward to this match as it represents the ideal type of preparation ahead of the new season and gives us the opportunity to expose our squad to quality opposition. It is always an honour to play against an international team and we are delighted to be traveling to Chicago for this game.”
The US team leave for France on September 1 with their first pool match at the World Cup coming seven days later against England in Lens.
Thorburn added: “We don’t have a lot of matches scheduled for later this summer, so it was key to get Munster on board for a match less than two weeks out from the World Cup.”
Tickets for this match will be available through Ticketmaster USA from Wednesday, May 30.