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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.

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