All Blacks to play Chicago Test

New Zealand will take on the USA at the 61,000-seater Soldier Field stadium in Chicago on 1 November.

The venue is home to the NFL's Chicago Bears.

Though rumours and speculation regarding this fixture have bubbled away for nearly six months, it was only on Tuesday that the match was publicly announced as the Kiwis' newest overseas initiative, with the purposes of drawing on the developing market – boasting huge potential – in the USA, generating a ballpark figure of at least NZ$1-million [R9-million] for the NZRU, and offering the Test side important preparation for the subsequent fixtures in Europe.

The All Blacks have played only two Tests against the USA – a 51-3 win in California in 1913 and a 46-6 win in Gloucester at the 1991 World Cup. Their meeting in California in 1980, which New Zealand won 53-6, was not given Test status.

Photo: Alejandro Pagni/AFP Photo

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