Wales will play a test against South Africa on US soil on June 2. Multiple media outlets have now reported that the game will take place in Washington, DC, at a venue to be confirmed. It’s thought that the preferred location is Audi Field, the future home of Major League Soccer side DC United, however construction of the new stadium is not expected to be completed until the end of June. An alternative could be RFK Stadium which features a large capacity but dated facilities.
With the match falling outside the official World Rugby test window both Wales and South Africa will be largely restricted to their domestic-based players. In the case of Wales there could be exceptions with Taulupe Faletau already cleared and George North set to be available after announcing his departure from Northampton. The Springboks could be without their France-based players with Top 14 playoffs ongoing at that time.
A neutral-venue match on American soil would be a first for Wales but just the latest in a number of similar initiatives. The Aviva Premiership hosted its second ‘American Series’ match in Philadelphia earlier in the year while Ireland played New Zealand at Chicago’s Soldier Field in November 2016. A Super Rugby pre-season match between the Bulls and Stormers in Los Angeles is planned for February 3.