Ireland’s first scheduled fixture of the 2021-22 season, against the USA Eagles on Saturday October 30th at the 65,000 capacity Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, seems sure to be cancelled in light of the ongoing travel restrictions between the two countries.
Those travel restrictions between America and Ireland are due to be lifted on November 1st, but that will not be in time to allow Irish supporters to travel in their customary numbers to the match, a key factor in arranging this fixture in order to swell the presence of expatriate supporters in the States.
The game against the US Eagles was to have been the first ever rugby international fixture to be held at the Allegiant Stadium, which is the home of NFL franchise the Las Vegas Raiders.
There was a capacity attendance of 62,300 for the historic first win, by 40-29, over the All Blacks at Solder’s Field, Chicago in November 2016 and even for the 54-7 victory over Italy two years later at the same venue a crowd of 35,081 filled over half the stadium.
In the anticipated cancellation of next month’s match, the IRFU and USA Rugby will likely explore the possibility of holding the game at a future date, perhaps in November 2022.
Andy Farrell would probably have sent out a second team given the first of three home matches is scheduled to take place a week later, on November 6th, against Japan, whose squad are already currently in camp.
Ireland are also due to host the All Blacks on November 13th, and are scheduled to complete their autumn programme against Argentina on Sunday, November 21st.