SANTA CLARA -- For the second time in four seasons, the 49ers will be playing in London, albeit not until next season when they're hosted at Wembley Stadium by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the NFL announced Thursday.

"The 49ers are excited and privileged to once again serve as ambassadors for the NFL and the game of football internationally," 49ers CEO Jed York said in a statement. "Our 2010 experience in London was tremendous."

Two years ago, the 49ers hosted the Denver Broncos in London and claimed a 24-16 victory in front of 83,941 fans. Although Frank Gore ran for 118 yards and a touchdown in that victory, he isn't exactly planning for his encore, stating: "I'm not worried about next year."

Left tackle Joe Staley, who vacationed in London and Europe this past offseason, promptly responded to Thursday morning's news by tweeting he was "pretty pumped" about returning to London.

Kickoff will be at 5 p.m. local time (10 a.m. PDT). The Jaguars have committed to play a home game in the United Kingdom each of the next four seasons. While the 49ers are off to a 4-1 start this season, the Jaguars are 1-4 under new owner Shad Kahn.

"To share this stage in our first year at Wembley with a rising power like the 49ers will bring additional attention and respect to what we're trying to achieve as a franchise," Kahn said.


Advertisement

The 49ers have played 10 times internationally, although eight games came in exhibition action. Their regular-season games abroad included the 2010 trip to London and a 2005 loss in Mexico City to the Arizona Cardinals.

An away game on the East Coast likely will precede the 49ers' trip, as was the case in 2010 when they lost at Carolina before traveling to London. Other road games in 2013 include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints and an to-be-determined NFC East team.

  • New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride accused 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith of holding linemen to help create sacks, typically on stunts with other pass rushers. Gilbride told the New York media: "Smith is a beast on the inside. He's strong, he does as good a job of grabbing a hold of offensive linemen and allowing those twists (stunts) to take place. He never gets called for it, so he gets away with murder."

    Smith is consistently drawing double teams this season, and although he doesn't have any sacks, he has a team-high 27 quarterback pressures.

    "Teams have thrown the ball quickly on us at times," 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. "I haven't felt during any of the games like, 'Damn, where's our pass rush?' And until I feel that, then we don't have a problem."

  • Quarterback Alex Smith (right middle finger), running back Brandon Jacobs (left knee) and punter Andy Lee (right hand) fully participated in practice.

  • The 49ers' offensive line is grading out "really high," according to offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Center Jonathan Goodwin, left guard Mike Iupati and right guard Alex Boone are rated atop their respective positions by Pro Football Focus, while Staley and right tackle Anthony Davis are No. 2 at theirs.

  • York ranked 39th on Fortune's "40 Under 40" list of young business leaders. The 31-year-old CEO was lauded for his appointments of coach Jim Harbaugh, general manager Trent Baalke and president Gideon Yu, along with the team's ability to secure financing for the new Santa Clara stadium that is fast tracked for 2014.

  • Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has practiced for the first time in two weeks. Nicks worked out on a limited basis Thursday. After the practice, he was uncertain whether he would be able to play against the 49ers.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.