The Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints have been confirmed as the first teams for the NFL American football league’s 2017 International Series in London.
The two teams will face off in the English capital next year, with a date and venue to be announced in due course.
The news was confirmed during yesterday’s (Sunday’s) final match of the 2017 International Series between the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals (pictured) at London’s Wembley Stadium, which finished as a 27-27 tie.
Next year’s fixture will mark the Dolphins’ fourth regular-season game in London, with the Saints having played in the city once before when losing to the San Diego Chargers 37-32 in 2008. The Dolphins’ most recent appearance in London was a 27-14 loss to the New York Jets at Wembley in 2015.
The Dolphins’ official website said the award of the game was directly related to a resolution approved by the NFL in 2014 that states if a team is awarded the Super Bowl, as the Dolphins have in 2020, the league may select that team to play a home game in the UK once within the five years of being awarded the Super Bowl. Hosting rights were assigned to Miami in May.
Yesterday’s game marked the conclusion of this year's three-game International Series, with Wembley having staged a game between the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars on October 2 before Twickenham Stadium hosted its first-ever NFL match on October 23, when the New York Giants defeated the Los Angeles Rams.
Commenting on the make-up of the full 2017 International Series, NFL UK’s managing director Alistair Kirkwood told broadcaster Sky Sports: “We've got probably another two or three weeks of work to figure out if it will be three or four games and we’re hoping to announce it sometime around Thanksgiving. It's partly stadium availability and it's partly getting teams to give up home games.”