Vodacom Bulls to face Stormers in the USA

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Coming into the Americas Rugby Championship for the first time as defending champions, the United States Men’s 15s look to kick off the 2018 series in leading fashion as they head to an opening match with Argentina XV.

The match will headline a double-header feature, following a Super Rugby pre-season showcase between the Vodacom Bulls of Pretoria and Cape Town’s DHL Stormers. Presale tickets will be available November 16.

The 5pmPT kick off combining the United States and Argentina XV will lead way for the first of three Men’s Eagles home matches. Poetically, this same Argentina XV squad played host in Buenos Aires when the US claimed its 2017 ARC title in early March. Narrowly defeating the South American powerhouse by a bonus point, the upcoming rematch looks to provide some early drama as 2018 gets underway.

“Opening the season against a runner up should deliver some added excitement in Los Angeles,” remarked Men’s Eagles Head Coach, Gary Gold, “There is a suitable amount of anticipation we have for the men here, starting off the series with a well contested matchup.”

Stub Hub Center in Los Angeles will host the two fixtures as part of USA Rugby’s long-term strategy in the region, leading to the Summer Olympics in 2028. Southern California has in fact been the fastest growing High School and Youth region over the last decade for USA Rugby. The event is collaboration between USA Rugby commercial arm, Rugby International Marketing, and AEG Rugby.

“We’re anticipating a strong year in 2018, with the ARC opening here in the US,” said USA Rugby CEO, Dan Payne, “Southern California has always been a great rugby community, partnering with AEG Rugby and Super Rugby certainly amplifies that experience for fans.”

“Super Rugby is one of the premier club rugby competitions in the world, spanning 15 time zones and five countries.” said Super Rugby CEO Andy Marinos, “Even though this is a pre-season match, we are excited that rugby fans in the United States will get the opportunity to enjoy and witness Super Rugby first hand.”

Super Rugby makes its United States debut with a leading matchup between the Vodacom Bulls and DHL Stormers competing in a pre-season fixture prior to the Eagles kick off. The South African rivals last met in July where the Bulls 2017 season came to a close and the DHL Stormers continued on to the Super Rugby quarterfinals.

Western Province Rugby Group CEO, Paul Zacks added, “This is a great opportunity to share the success of the DHL Stormers team and brand with a new and growing market. The world is continuously becoming a smaller place, so exploring new and growing areas of the game forms part of our vision, as we strive to become a truly high-performance organization with global appeal.”

The Vodacom Bulls are extremely excited to be part of this fixture, and to be able to contribute to the overall double header. We all know that the appreciation and appetite for rugby in the States is growing at a rapid rate, and are honored to be invited in helping to extend that appreciation.

Vodacom Bulls Executive Rugby, John Mitchell is no stranger to rugby in the USA, and has had the privilege of spending time at the helm of the USA Eagles team: “This trip comes at a vital time for us, as we will be far into our pre-season preparations for the 2018 season, and there’s no doubt that members of our squad will be looking to assert themselves. So rugby lovers attending the double header, can expect to be entertained by these to Super Rugby giants.”

Barend van Graan, CEO of the Blue Bulls Company, echoed Mitchell’s sentiments, and added: “This Super Rugby showcase, is bigger than just the game on the day, and should be seen as a step forward in growing rugby even faster in the States, and globally.”

The Bulls title sponsor, Vodacom, has also climbed on board by putting up a phenomenal prize for two lucky Vodacom Bulls Season Ticket holders and their partners to join their team in Los Angeles. More details to be released over the few days.

Presale for the event begins Thursday November 16 – sign up for the USA Rugby Presale List at usar.org/tickets. General on-sale will begin Monday Nov 20.

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