28 Feb 2018

Kiwis to play in the USA

5:57 am on 28 February 2018

The Kiwis will play a ground-breaking rugby league test against England in the United States in June.

The match will be played on June 23rd in Denver at the Mile High Stadium, which has a capacity of 76,000 and is home of 2016 NFL Super Bowl Champions the Denver Broncos.

It will the first time the countries currently ranked two and three in world Rugby League have met in the United States.

Chair of the New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) Reon Edwards said the Test is an important step for the code's international development.

Denver's Mile High Stadium.

Denver's Mile High Stadium. Photo: Wiki Commons

"Rugby League is making impressive strides in the United States and Canada," he said.

"This Test match is an opportunity to showcase the highest level of our sport in the North American market, which has significant participation and commercial potential."

The Kiwis captain Simon Mannering thanks the crowd.

Simon Mannering. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Kiwis stalwart Simon Mannering said "it's a great concept and one I wish was around five years ago when I was a bit younger."

"Growing our game internationally has to be a priority - think of the opportunities we could create for our game if it was a genuine international sport played all over the world.

"I know it'll be tough for some NRL clubs to see the importance at first, but if we really care about the game, then I think it's something we have to support. I definitely will."

Another notable Test for the Kiwis will be Australia coming to New Zealand for the first time since 2014.

From this year the ANZAC fixture will move to the end of the season, and alternate annually between Australia and New Zealand.

A rematch of the Rugby League Women's World Cup final between the Kiwi Ferns and the Jillaroos will feature on the ANZAC Test programme, together with the Junior Kiwis playing the Junior Kangaroos.

A three-Test series in England announced late last year 2017 will be followed by a one-off Test in France.

In 2016 the 2025 Rugby League World Cup was provisionally awarded to North America, with the United States and Canada to co-host.

Kiwis' 2018 Test Programme

Saturday 23 June 2018; Kiwis v England; Denver, Colorado, USA

Saturday 13 October 2018; Kiwis v Australia; Auckland, NZ

Saturday 27 October 2018; England v Kiwis; Hull, England

Saturday 3 November 2018; England v Kiwis; Liverpool, England

Sunday 11 November 2018; England v Kiwis; Leeds, England

Saturday 17 November 2018; France v Kiwis; venue TBC