Fixtures - Top Bar

Saracens’ Chris Wyles sets his sights on New Jersey

CWyles-Sara-0703

As a USA international, Chris Wyles is taking an extra special interest in Aviva Premiership Rugby’s first visit to the States this Saturday.

And he is adamant that the league’s arrival across the pond can help American fans to connect with what has become the fastest-growing sport in the country.

Wyles grew up in Pennsylvania before coming over to the UK as an 11-year-old – and has since represented his country of birth at three Rugby World Cups.

And the 32-year-old is a bonafide Aviva Premiership Rugby star, having collected 13 tries for Saracens in their charge to the title in 2014-15.

So Wyles is well placed to know how the word of rugby can continue to spread in America, and he insists Saracens’ ground-breaking game with London Irish in New Jersey at the Red Bull Arena will be another huge step forward.  

"I hope that there can be more games played and they can build on that, because what I’d say about American fans is that once they’ve seen a rugby game they’re obsessed with it," he said. "We’ve seen that with the Las Vegas 7s too and the crowd goes mad.

"We’ve had some previous experience of the All Blacks coming over and playing at Soldier Field, and the Wallabies too.

"So there’s been some great fixtures and they’ve just announced that the All Blacks are coming back to play Ireland and the USA will be playing New Zealand Maori.

"From my perspective I just want USA rugby to continue to grow because the fans are so passionate and there’s a huge amount of room for development in the States.

"With the amount of amazing stadiums in the States, if rugby continues to grow then for the Premiership to play over there every year would be a no-brainer really. The Premiership should do everything they can to get more games over the States."

Amid the excitement there is a still very serious game of rugby to be played – with Saracens and the Exiles both currently fighting at opposite ends of the table.

Indeed, both sides will be licking their wounds after coming off defeats in Round 15, and Wyles believes hosts Irish will be buoyed by the crowd behind their backs.

"London Irish will take a lot of energy playing overseas and tapping into that heritage and being somewhere different," Wyles added. "But historically we’ve also shown that we can perform when going away, and in different parts of the world. Whatever happens it’ll be a great contest and a great event.

"This is the kind of game that, because of the unusual aspect to it, where you are in the table is irrelevant – it’s a one-off game. We certainly won’t be taking them lightly.

"It will be very cool to go over and play in the Red Bull Stadium with Saracens. We’ve been on a few trips to the States in the past but we haven’t actually played there, so it’d be great to go back with my teammates and do that."

For tickets to this historic match go to londonirishusa.com

Latest News

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball

Match Reaction: Worcester Warriors 12 Wasps 26

Wasps maintained the pressure on Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders Saracens with success over Worcester Warriors – a victory Dai Young…

Rob Miller deputised in sterling fashion (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 38 Harlequins 32

Dean Richards’ Newcastle Falcons side are evolving according to the director of rugby, after he saw his side run in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Newcastle Falcons 38 Harlequins 32

Newcastle Falcons ran in six tries in a thriller of a game at Kingston Park with Juan Pablo Socino starring…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Worcester Warriors 12 Wasps 26

Wasps moved to within one point of the Aviva Premiership Rugby summit but missed out on a bonus point in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Reaction: Gloucester Rugby 26 Bristol Rugby 18

Director of rugby David Humphreys believes Gloucester Rugby showed their battling qualities as they went through the gears in the…

henrypurdyglobri16sb1111

Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 19 Northampton Saints 11

Leicester Tigers’ director of rugby Richard Cockerill wants his side to be more clinical after they edged past Northampton Saints…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Reaction: Bath Rugby 14 Saracens 11

Bath Rugby director of rugby Todd Blackadder believes his side broke down a mental barrier by hanging tough to beat…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library