Martin Pengelly

Author's posts

Sep 15

‘We’re in the foothills’ – Premiership’s attempt to crack America reaches Philly

Newcastle’s fixture against Saracens in Philadelphia has not sold out but officials are hopeful that the sport will eventually get a foothold in the US

Premiership Rugby and the promoter of Newcastle v Saracens in Philadelphia expected the game to sell out. Expectations have been adjusted.

When the teams run out at the Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday, around 10,000 are expected to attend. That would be 8,500 below capacity and 4,800 down on the crowd for last year’s US game, when Sarries beat London Irish in New Jersey.

Related: Newcastle’s Dave Walder embraces Philadelphia challenge with spirits high

Related: Premiership expects Philadelphia sell-out for Newcastle v Saracens

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/15/were-in-the-foothills-premierships-attempt-to-crack-america-reaches-philly

Sep 13

Newcastle’s Dave Walder embraces Philadelphia challenge with spirits high

The Falcons’ well-travelled head coach is confident his side can showcase the club’s resurgence when they face Saracens in the US

Newcastle and Saracens are in Philadelphia, preparing to play at the Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday. The game may be more of a must-win for the Aviva Premiership than for either team, but whatever the crowd size or the American TV audience, early-season points are at stake.

“We had a day to rest and recover but some of the boys were off recreating Rocky, running up the steps,” said Dave Walder, the Falcons’ new head coach. Some Saracens also ran to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, up the stone slope made famous by Sylvester Stallone. As they did, Walder was plotting to bring them down.

Related: Travel can broaden game but club trips to US and South Africa make little sense | Robert Kitson

Related: Rugby union: Premiership talking points from the weekend’s action

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/13/newcastles-dave-walder-embraces-philadelphia-challenge-with-spirits-high