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All Blacks on a mission in America

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

(AP) -- Rugby union will make its strongest claim for the attention of a U.S. audience when the Eagles host the World Cup champion New Zealand All Blacks on Saturday in a rare meeting on American soil.

The test match is expected to attract a capacity crowd of 61,500 at Chicago's Soldier Field, amounting to almost three times the previous record crowd for a rugby match in the United States: 20,181 watched the U.S. Eagles play Ireland in Houston last year.

More importantly for the profile of rugby, the match will be broadcast to a potential TV audience of millions, many who may be seeing the sport for the first time.


Wales' Lydiate to leave Racing Metro

PARIS (AP) Wales flanker Dan Lydiate is returning to his native country after agreeing an early termination of his contract at French club Racing Metro.

Racing says Lydiate "will be joining one of the Welsh regions as of December," having requested to leave the Parisian side after 17 months in the French capital. (MORE)

Carter on bench for the All Blacks

(AP) -- Some star All Blacks players face a crossroads when New Zealand plays the United States in Chicago on Saturday in a rare rugby meeting on American soil.

Flyhalf Daniel Carter, the leading scorer in international rugby, has been included on the bench for the match that begins the World Cup champion All Blacks' five-match northern hemisphere tour. If he takes the field, it will be for the first time in a year for New Zealand after he took a break from rugby and then broke his leg. (MORE)

Genia, Cooper reunite for Wallabies

LONDON (AP) Will Genia and Quade Cooper have been reunited at halfback by Australia for the first time in a year for the Wallabies' European tour-opening match against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday.

Michael Cheika's first selection as Australia coach also saw flanker Matt Hodgson selected as captain and winger Henry Speight given his first start in 2014. (MORE)

Cummins named in Barbarians side

LONDON (AP) Former Australia winger Nick Cummins will go up against his old international teammates after being selected by the Barbarians for a non-cap match against the touring Wallabies at Twickenham on Saturday.

Cummins is not currently in contention to play for his country after quitting Australian rugby this year to play in Japan with the Coca Cola Red Sharks. (MORE)

Burgess to try out different positions

BATH, England (AP) Code-hopping rugby star Sam Burgess will be tested in different positions by Bath as he looks to find his best role in union in time to secure a place in England's 2015 World Cup squad.

The 25-year-old Burgess was presented as a Bath player on Thursday, less than a month after ending his rugby league career by guiding the South Sydney Rabbitohs to victory in the NRL grand final. (MORE)

Beale given hope for tour of Europe

LONDON (AP) Days after fearing his international career might be over, Kurtley Beale was given encouragement on Monday that he could pull on an Australia jersey during the team's tour of Europe next month.

The utility back was found guilty of breaching the Australian Rugby Union's code of conduct for sending a lewd text message to an Australian team official. He was found to have sent the message inadvertently, earning him a fine of 45,000 Australian dollars ($40,000) on Friday, but was cleared of sending a second, more offensive text. (MORE)

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