The Welsh Rugby Union have completed a deal for a one-off summer fixture against South Africa in the United States ahead of their summer tour to Argentina.
First Minister Carwyn Jones is in the USA and has visited the South African Embassy today to put the final details on the game scheduled for June 2018.
The game will take place in the US capital Washington and follows on from Ireland’s similar exercise in Chicago against the All Blacks in 2016.
While the game will act primarily towards Wales’ on-pitch preparations for Argentina it’s significance for rugby in the country cannot be overlooked.
Talks have been ongoing over the potential inclusion of a US-based side in the Pro 14 which has now been expanded to include two South African sides as part of an attempt to grow the leagues’ status around the world and taking international rugby to the country could well be seen as an attempt to further that process.
The game would also point towards a significant commercial opportunity for Welsh rugby to broaden its horizons in the USA.
On top of any financial incentives the game itself would bring it may also be seen as an opportunity to further raise their game’s profile through major US clothing manufacturer Under Armour who currently provide Wales’ kit.
It will be the second major Welsh game in the country in 2018. The Football Association of Wales last week confirmed that they will take the national side to Pasadena, California, on 28 May to meet Mexico in a one-off fixture, following on from their trip to China for a four team friendly tournament in March.
The fixture will be the first of three summer tour tests in the Americas.
Following the game against the Springboks, the squad will travel south to Argentina for two tests against the Pumas. Those fixtures will take place in San Juan on 9 June and Santa Fe on 16 June.