USA Rugby and the San Jose Earthquakes announced Thursday that Avaya Stadium will play host to a World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup double-header on Saturday, July 18. The Pacific Nations Cup – a World Rugby tournament designed to expose Pacific Rim teams and players to a greater number of international test matches – features Canada, Fiji, Japan, Samoa, and USA. The 18,000-seat Avaya Stadium will host two PNC matches July 18, Canada vs. Japan and the USA Men’s Eagles vs. Samoa.
“The Bay Area is recognized as one of the hubs for rugby in the United States and we designed Avaya Stadium with rugby in mind,” said Earthquakes President Dave Kaval. “We are thrilled to bring USA Rugby back to the area and look forward to welcoming the rugby community to Avaya Stadium for the first time.”
While there is a long history of international rugby in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, the match day in San Jose represents the first international tests in the Silicon Valley since USA hosted Ireland at Buck Shaw Stadium in 2009. The match pitting the U.S. against Samoa is also a preview of the Pool B fixture of Rugby World Cup 2015 slated for Sep. 20 in Brighton, U.K.
“USA Rugby is excited to return to San Jose and play at the brand new Avaya Stadium,” said USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Nigel Melville. “The area has a great rugby fan base and I know that supporters will look forward to coming out to see Canada, Japan, Samoa, and the USA all playing on the same pitch.”
The PNC has been held annually since 2006, though the U.S. was introduced to the competition in 2013. The USA Eagles will also travel to Sacramento to play at Bonney Field on Friday, July 24 as part of the Pacific Nations Cup. The matches in Sacramento feature a clash between Fiji and Samoa before another preview of a Rugby World Cup matchup in the U.S. versus Japan. Following round robin play – with matches also scheduled to be held at ANZ Stadium in Suva, Fiji, Swangard Stadium in Toronto, and BMO Field in Vancouver – teams will be seeded based on record for finals day in Vancouver on August 3.
“San Jose is very proud to welcome international rugby back to the capital of Silicon Valley,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “We can’t wait to welcome USA Rugby and the Pacific Nations Cup to the new Avaya Stadium for what we hope will be the first of many high-profile and prestigious rugby matches to be played in San Jose.”
Tickets for the matches held at Avaya Stadium will be released mid-March. Notifications on ticket release dates and pre-sale access to tickets for the U.S.-based 2015 PNC matches will be provided to those on the USA Rugby Ticket Pre-Sale List, for which fans can sign up here: www.usarugby.org/tickets.