Black Ferns, Maori All Blacks headline triple-header rugby event in Chicago

The Black Ferns will get their first experience playing in Chicago later this year when they face off against USA in a triple-header rugby event.

The World Champions are joining the Maori All Blacks, USA Eagles, Italy and Ireland at Chicago's NFL stadium Soldier Field in November as part of a massive afternoon of rugby action.

The match programme opens with the USA Women's Eagles up against the Black Ferns, followed by Ireland and Italy facing off in a Six Nations rivalry match before culminating in a clash between the USA Men's Eagles against the Maori All Blacks.

"This is going to be a very special weekend for rugby and for New Zealand," New Zealand Rugby Chief Rugby Officer Nigel Cass said.

"We are excited to be able to bring our Women's Rugby World Cup champions, the Black Ferns, to be part of such a wonderful spectacle of rugby.

"These matches will be a fantastic way to kick off end of year campaigns for both teams."

It is the first time in the Black Ferns' history they will run out on North American soil.

The Rugby Weekend will take place on November 4 NZT.

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - AUGUST 26: Fiao'o Faamausili of New Zealand lifts the trophy following the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 Final between England and New Zealand at Kingspan Stadium on August 26, 2017 in Belfast, United Kingdom. (Photo by Charles McQuillan - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)
Fiao'o Faamausili of New Zealand lifts the trophy following the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 Final between England and New Zealand. Source: Getty


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All Blacks star Elliot Dixon to stay with Highlanders, Shane Christie retires due to concussion

Highlanders star forward Elliot Dixon's decision to move off shore at the end of this year's Super Rugby season doesn't mean he is done playing down in the south.

Japanese club the Ricoh Black Rams announced yesterday that he had inked a contract with them.

Elliot confirmed today that he will stay with the Highlanders through till 2020.

"Good on him though, he's doing what's best for him and his family," said Highlanders second rower Alex Ainely.

The move will allow Dixon to bring up 100 caps for the southern franchise next season, something he has publicly stated he always wanted to do.

One of Dixon's teammates who won't be back for the Highlanders is Shane Christie, who announced his retirement from rugby yesterday due to concussion.

Dixon has signed on with the Highlanders for another two years. Source: 1 NEWS

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Minister of Sport says islands-based Super Rugby team would be 'embraced by Pasifika community'

Grant Robertson says he would welcome the addition of a Pacific team to enter the Super Rugby competition, as the early stages of team development commence. 

It comes after the New Zealand government and New Zealand Rugby funded an $80,000 feasibility study for a Pacific Islands team.

When asked how committed he was to a Pacific rugby team, Mr Robertson said it was a matter for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

However he said "speaking as the Minister for Sport and Recreation, I would certainly welcome a Pacific Rugby team in the Super competition". 

"I think it would add a huge amount to it, and clearly it would be something that would be embraced by Pasifika community both in the Pacific itself and here."

Nichol said there will be a lot of work needed to be done for a Pacific team to enter the competition. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Robertson was asked if it could pull players from some of the New Zealand Super Rugby teams, to which he answered, "well, that would be interesting, wouldn't it?"

"But I think there's a huge depth of talent in New Zealand rugby and in the Pacific that could certainly cope with a team... and I think it would be a real welcome addition to Super Rugby."

He said the decision was made that MFAT would help with the early stages of the team establishment, but in terms of tax payer funding, Mr Robertson said "Super Rugby franchises, they're usually developed by rugby unions and by the private sector".

"I'd imagine that model would be what would continue."

It comes after the government and NZ Rugby funded an $80,000 feasibility study. Source: 1 NEWS