The New Zealand Rugby Union has left open the possibility of playing in the U.S. in 2017. With the All Blacks taking on the Lions during the summer and then with Ireland, Italy, and France on tap for their November tour the team is looking for a lighter fixture to fill out a fourth team in the fall. According to NZRU boss Steve Tew that lighter fixture could be against a non-test team like the Barbarians or against Japan in Japan or the Eagles in the United States. Given that New Zealand has been to the U.S. in two of the past three years Japan seems more likely but the money has been good in Chicago.
"Next year, the major focus for this team is clearly the British and Irish Lions, who represent an enormous challenge," Tew said to NZ City. "By the time we get away to Europe, having another fixture against another top-ranked side doesn't appeal. Chicago has been enormously successful on every front, other than that obviously we didn't win the second time."
The odds of New Zealand coming to the U.S. over Japan aren't high. In fact, after a grueling year it's more likely they stay in England to face the Barbarians. Still, it's something to keep an eye on.