BOULDER, Colo. – This November, Philadelphia will be home to more than just the Men’s Eagles and New Zealand Maori All Blacks’ Black and Blue Match, presented by AIG.
The Eagles and All Blacks will kick off the festivities in the City of Brotherly Love Wednesday, Nov. 6, with the Black and Blue Press Conference. Each team’s captain and coach will be available to the press to speak about the importance of the inaugural match between the two teams.
The USA Rugby Trust and Rugby Pennsylvania will host the Welcome to Philadelphia Meet and Greet Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Union League of Philadelphia, which was voted the best city club in the country by John Sibbald Associates, Inc. Both the Eagles and All Blacks will be in attendance to mingle with donors and VIPs, including former Mayor of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. Reserve your spot at the Union League here.
“I fell in love with rugby about four years ago and am thrilled that USA Rugby has selected Philadelphia to host this match,” Rendell said. “Philadelphia is a great sports town – we appreciate hard hitting action and guys who sell out on every play. From what I have seen of the Eagles, these guys work hard, tackle hard, run hard and are on their way to greater success. I will be there rooting them on.”
The Women’s Premier League National Championship Semifinals and Final will be played in the city during the weekend, as well. The Semifinals will take place Friday, Nov. 8, with the Final scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 10. A Women’s Premier League and Try on Rugby Dinner is also planned for Friday to launch USA Rugby’s newest initiative.
XFINITY Live! will hold the Black and Blue Pep Rally Friday evening. The venue is one of Philadelphia’s most sought-after social attractions, with a variety of dining and entertainment located near the site of the former Spectrum. Eagles and All Blacks will be in attendance, and join fans at venues including The Philly MarketPlace, Spectrum Grill, Broad Street Bullies Pub, PBR Bar and Grill, Victory Beer Hall and the NBC Sports Arena.
The USA Rugby Congress will be conducting business in Downtown Philadelphia Friday before attending the match Saturday.
The USA Rugby Coach Development Department will also be busy in Philadelphia. A Level 300 Coach Certification Course will be held Saturday, the day of the match, beginning at 8:00 A.M. at Neuman University. Day two of the Level 300 Course will be Sunday, Nov. 10.
The objective of the Level 300 course is for coaches to increase their ability to coach technical skills to achieve strategic and tactical outcomes. Coaches will be able to use the coaching process, key factor analysis and functional role analysis to achieve specific short- and medium-term goals for their teams.
A Level 200 Coach Certification Course will also be held at Neuman University Sunday. Level 200 is the current minimum certification requirement for all coaches and contact teams. The course will help coaches refine their coaching skills and knowledge with a focus on teaching the technical aspects of the game through the use of games, questioning and progression.
The All Deaf Rugby Football Club will take on North Penn Rugby football Club at North Penn Saturday at 11:00 A.M. The All Deaf team is hoping to join the Potomac Rugby Union and is currently looking to recruit deaf, hard of hearing and ASL-fluent players of all experience levels. Visit the All Deaf Rugby Club’s website for more information.
Another match happening prior to the kickoff of the Black and Blue Match is between the Marine Corps Old Breed and the Army Band of Brothers Saturday at 9:00 A.M at Memorial Hall Field in Fairmont Park.
PPL Park will host the Black and Blue Fan Fest starting at 3:00 P.M. Similar to the Fan Fest in Houston for the Men’s Eagles’ match against Ireland, fans will be able to interact with each other and vendors in the confines of the stadium on the Delaware River. The Black and Blue Fan Fest will be available to some of the country’s “Most Intimidating Fans,” according to Sports Illiustrated.
The actual match will kick off at 7:00 P.M. and broadcast live on FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2Go. Fans in attendance and those who missed the match live will be able to watch the tape delay Sunday at noon ET on FOX Sports 1, the newest 24-hour multi-sport channel.
For more event information, visit the USAvMaoriABs Event Calendar.