Inaugural 1874 Cup Rugby Match Coming to DC

The most successful rugby team on the planet is coming to play in DC.

EventsDC’s Greg O’Dell catches a rugby ball during a press conference announcing the inaugural 1874 Cup. Credit: Kate Michael

The U.S. Men’s National Rugby Team, The Eagles, will host the renowned New Zealand All Blacks, for the first time ever in Washington, DC when they square off on Saturday, October 23, 2021 in the inaugural 1874 Cup, at FedExField.

In 1874, organized rugby was first played in the United States, and now the 1874 Cup recalls that collegiate match between McGill and Harvard University almost 150 years ago.

“Our region is home to a robust and passionate rugby community at both amateur and professional levels,” said EventsDC president and CEO Greg O’Dell, at a press conference announcing the upcoming event. He also reminded that DC is home to the third-largest fanbase of rugby followers in the United States, with two million rugby fans within a five-hour drive of DC.

All this to say… the match is sure to be a sellout. (Ticket pre-sale for the rugby community opens on Wednesday, July 28th, with general public tickets on-sale at 10:00 am EST on Friday, July 30th.)

“The opportunity to host the iconic New Zealand All Blacks for the first time ever in our nation’s capital alongside USA Rugby will showcase Washington, DC as a dynamic, global sports destination to the world. Together with our partners at Old Glory DC, we look forward to attracting more world-class rugby to our nation’s capital including the Rugby World Cup,” said O’Dell.

While this will be the first time the All Blacks have played in the United States since 2016, it will be the first-ever in DC, and All Blacks Captain Sam Cane said the team would be looking forward to a “special game” against the USA.

“We’ve really loved it every time we have gone [to the US],” said Cane. “I know the team is excited about getting to America and particularly going to Washington, DC for the first time. It will be a historic match with a lot of meaning behind it and we hope that the rugby fans there really get behind the game. We can’t wait.”