DJ Diesel will be performing in Chicago on 8 July

NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal will DJ at the Major League Rugby final on 8 July in Chicago.

‘Shaq’ will perform under his stage name DJ Diesel before kick-off at the Chicago Hounds’ SeatGeek Stadium while American Celtic band Dropkick Murphys will take to the mic after the conclusion of the game.

The 15-time NBA all-star won four championships during an illustrious basketball career that also saw him pick up an Olympic gold medal on home soil at Atlanta 1996 and NBA MVP in 2000.

The 7ft 1in retired athlete, who is best known for an eight-year stint at the LA Lakers from 1996 to 2004, is the headline attraction as the American season concludes in style. On top of the main acts and the final itself, fans can enjoy the Dawg Town Block Party fan festival.

Related: All the teams that have qualified for the Rugby World Cup 2023

The festival will include Windy City-themed vendors, musicians, food, and drinks while rugby-specific activations will include a youth tournament, high-performance combine, social sevens tournament, and rugby 101 sessions.

Major League Rugby chief excutive, Nic Benson, said: “The 2023 MLR Championship Final promises to be our biggest and best yet. It will be the culmination of an exciting season and will have something for everyone to enjoy. A trip to Chicago should be on every rugby fan’s to-do list this summer. We cannot wait.

Peter Bernick, majority owner of Chicago Hounds Rugby, added: “The Chicago Hounds are proud to host the 2023 Major League Rugby Championship Game. We’re throwing the Dawg Town Block Party for our die-hard rugby fans and for anyone looking to learn more about the sport. Come on out and enjoy an old-fashioned Chicago summer block party. Welcome to Dawg Town.”

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