USA rugby national team to bring French power Stade Toulousain to Utah

USA Rugby will host French power Stade Toulousain following a three-match tour of Europe at America First Field in Sandy on Sept. 17. (Aaron Favila, Associated Press)

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SALT LAKE CITY — The country's best rugby athletes are coming to Utah in the fall to face one of Europe's top outfits.

USA Rugby will host French power Stade Toulousain at America First Field in Sandy following a three-match tour of Europe, the organizations announced Friday.

The friendly, which is scheduled for Sept. 17, will feature a collection of current and future Eagles players who play for the Utah Warriors, including Paul Mullen, Mika Kruse, Lance Williams, Thomas Tu'avao, Angus McClellan and Major League Rugby leading try scorer Joe Mano, according to a release from USA Rugby.

Each of the aforementioned Utah players have been named to the United States' 2023 extended player pool by head coach Scott Lawrence, as well as Stade Toulousain prop David Ainu'u, who is expected to compete against his club side for the United States.

"This match is very exciting news for the American rugby public, both hosting an internationally renowned team like Stade Toulousain, alongside the opportunity for our fans to see the Men's Eagles compete on home soil this year," USA Rugby CEO Ross Young said in a statement. "Utah and the Salt Lake City area are a thriving community of rugby supporters, an atmosphere we're ecstatic to return to. It's going to be a phenomenal event, one our fans definitely don't want to miss."

It will be the first rugby match at America First Field since the Utah Warriors opened their inaugural season in Major League Rugby against the Glendale Raptors on March 30, 2018 — a match that drew 9,186 fans to then-Rio Tinto Stadium. Then-collegiate power BYU also faced several of college rugby's top clubs at the stadium for the semifinals as part of the Varsity Cup, a competition that was discontinued in 2017 shortly after the Cougars left the organization.

The match is part of The Rugby Alliance, a business partnership between Stade Toulousain and the local Utah Warriors to collaborate and promote the game in the United States and abroad. The organization plans to conduct additional fan festivals and community events in the weeks leading up to the match, Warriors CEO Kimball Kjar said.

"Bringing an event of this magnitude to the United States is an endeavor fueled by our dedication to uplift the spirit of this extraordinary sport on American soil," said Kjar, a former rugby player and coach at BYU. "This is a chance of a lifetime for fans to experience the highest level of sport right here, live, to feel the energy, tension, and exhilaration that only a raw rugby match can deliver. We can't wait to experience the packed stadium of rumbling fans cheering on these athletes at America First Field on September 17."

Kick times and broadcast information will be announced at a later date. Tickets can be purchased at


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