Black and Blue Match perfect for America’s toughest fans

BOULDER, Colo. – USA Rugby and the New Zealand Rugby Union today released the logo for the Men’s Eagles’ November 9 test against the New Zealand Maori All Blacks, presented by AIG.

The new match logo conveys the high-profile nature of the upcoming match at PPL Park with a shield bearing the two rugby unions’ logos and represents the match’s “Black and Blue” theme.

“We wanted to really capture the gritty, hardworking feel of the city of Philadelphia and its citizens,” USA Rugby Chief Commercial Officer Jon Persch said. “The AIG Black and Blue rugby match is proud to join a long, storied history of the sporting culture in Philadelphia with the likes of the Broad Street Bullies and the Rocky films.”

One of the most iconic images from the historic city of Philadelphia is that of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa at the peak of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Stallone’s underdog character reached the top of the 72-step staircase while training in preparation for a boxing match.

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The Philadelphia Eagles famously gave semi-professional wide receiver Vince Papale the chance to play for the Eagles in the 1970s and signed then-construction foreman Jeff Thomason in 2005 for Super Bowl XXXIX.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ Broad Street Bullies moniker stemmed from the team’s bruising style of play in the 1970s, which led to the team’s first Stanley Cup victory during the 1973-74 season. Dave Schultz led the National Hockey League in penalty minutes for four consecutive seasons from 1973 to 1975.

The New Zealand Maori All Blacks will make their second appearance in America following their victory against the Eagles in the 2006 Churchill Cup. In 2012, they defeated Canada in Oxford, England. The All Blacks will be tested north of the border one week ahead of their date with the Eagles in Philadelphia.

“Being consistent with the working-class sportsmen of Philly, that’s the attitude we want to take into it,” Eagles Head Coach Mike Tolkin said. The Eagles will arrive in Philadelphia fresh from their Americas Rugby Championship campaign in British Columbia.

“We want to be hard and aggressive on defense and attack. We want to show up and really take it to the Maori, bringing a good, solid, physical, committed team onto the field. Hopefully we’ll come out with the ‘w.’”

PPL Park will host a Fan Fest prior to the match with activities for fans of all ages, including a tailgate and youth rugby clinic. There will also be live music and vendor tents with concessions and merchandise.

The Combined Armed Services RFC and the New Zealand Ambassador’s Select Side will take the pitch at PPL Park before the Eagles and All Blacks Saturday to contest the Ambassador’s Shield sponsored by the New Zealand Embassy, USA Rugby, and Rugby Pennsylvania.

Tickets are selling fast, with 9,000 seats already accounted for at PPL Park. Purchase tickets here.