RUGBY UNION: Julian Savea tried to sleep but couldn't. So in the end the All Blacks star got up to watch the Chicago Cubs make history.
With uncanny timing resulting in the All Blacks being in Chicago during the World Series baseball finals, Savea was one of number of players who couldn't resist switching on their hotel televisions in the Windy City as the gripping showdown between the Cubs and the Cleveland Indians unfolded.
"I was sitting in bed thinking I was going to go to sleep but I needed to watch it,” said Savea, who like many of the All Blacks is a massive fan of American sports.
"Congratulations to the Cubs. It was an awesome achievement and something that team has not done in a very long time.”
Savea admitted it was difficult to return to bed as Chicago fans celebrated the end of more than a century of misery as baseball's longest losers.
"I couldn't get to sleep afterwards because there was a lot 'cha-hooing' outside and beeping. So it took a while.”
The All Blacks are preparing to take on Ireland at Soldier Field on Sunday (6am AEST).
"I know this Irish side is a good team,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said. "The last time we played them they should have won and they have only got better since then.”
There's no escaping Cubs-mania in Chicago, which will have the unfortunate by-product of pushing the All Blacks-Ireland Test into media oblivion.
But that won't affect the crowd for the weekend test, though.
It's already sold out with the majority of fans at the 61,500-seat venue being Irish expats living in Chicago and other areas of the United States.