Ireland's Las Vegas test against USA cancelled over Covid travel restrictions

Andy Farrell’s Ireland had been scheduled to play the Eagles in Las Vegas on October 30
Ireland's Las Vegas test against USA cancelled over Covid travel restrictions

Ireland's Gavin Coombes scores a try against the USA this summer. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Ireland’s proposed autumn Test against the United States has been cancelled in the wake of continuing travel restrictions between the two countries.

Andy Farrell’s side had been scheduled to play the Eagles in Las Vegas on October 30 but with US President Joe Biden’s decision not to lift a travel ban on visitors from the EU and UK until November 1, organisers have concluded the Test match at Allegiant Stadium would not be economically viable without travelling Irish supporters.

A statement issued jointly by USA Rugby, the IRFU, and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority cited “insurmountable logistical challenges for the Irish team to fulfil the fixture” but said the focus was now on rescheduling the Las Vegas Rugby Cup fixture to October 2022.

“The vision for the 2021 Las Vegas Rugby Cup was for Irish and international rugby fans to descend on Las Vegas and create a global showcase for international rugby,” the statement read. “That is not possible in October with border restrictions between Ireland, the UK, and USA remaining in place until 1 November 2021.

“USA Rugby, the IRFU, and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority are supportive of rescheduling the match to October 2022. As such, the event organisers will begin working with stakeholders to investigate rescheduling the event to October 2022.” 

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne added: “It’s regrettable that the game won’t be going ahead this October. From an IRFU point of view, the match presented the Irish team with another valuable Test match and the opportunity to experience the atmosphere at the impressive Allegiant Stadium.

“I am sure Irish supporters were excited at the prospect of seeing the team play in Las Vegas. Irish Rugby is committed to enhancing its connection with the Irish Diaspora in the US and has played memorable fixtures in Chicago and New Jersey in recent seasons as we further expand the Irish Rugby brand globally. We are very supportive at looking at rescheduling the fixture next year.” 

Any supporters who had purchased tickets are to be offered a refund and are being asked to contact their respective ticket purchase platforms.

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