England Rugby League will face New Zealand during the mid-season international break on Saturday, June 23 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado, USA.
Moore Sports International, the promoters of the international fixture, confirmed today that Wayne Bennett’s squad will travel to America in June to take on a Kiwi side looking to make up for an early exit from last year’s World Cup.
Taking place at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home of NFL side and three-time Super Bowl winners Denver Broncos, this will be the first time in 18 years that England have played a game in the USA since taking on the national side in Orlando in October 2000 – a game England team manager Jamie Peacock and assistant coach Paul Wellens featured in.
The event between two of the leading nations in Rugby League is the first step as interest builds for Rugby League World Cup 2025, set to be hosted in North America.
On the mid-season international, England head coach Wayne Bennett said: “For us to grow stronger as a group and build on the progress of last year, these are the games we need to be involved in. We saw the benefits of taking on Samoa mid-season ahead of the World Cup.
“We hear people talking about growing the game and this is the perfect opportunity to take two of the world’s elite nations over to a country that loves sport and entertainment.
“Denver will be a good fit for the game – they have popular American football, basketball, baseball, hockey and football sides, so it seems there’s a real appetite for sporting events and to experience something new in this city.
“This game has come at the right time for New Zealand who’ll be looking to improve on last year’s quarter-final exit from the World Cup. One point was the difference between us the last time we played so we’re expecting another physical battle.”
Rugby Football League interim chief executive officer Ralph Rimmer added: “Successful World Cup tournaments and the entry of Toronto Wolfpack into the UK competition have increased the popularity of the international game and we are all keen to take advantage of this and grow our sport across the world.
“Moore Sports International is well aware of how innovative the sport is and offered an exciting opportunity to take our players and showcase their talents and our game to an important sporting market.”
Tickets to the England v New Zealand international Test at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver on Saturday, June 23 go on sale on Monday, March 5 at 10am CMT. To buy tickets and for more information, fans can visit www.rugbyleaguechallenge.com
England and New Zealand are also involved in a three-match International Test Series which starts on Saturday, October 27 (2.30pm) at KCOM Stadium, Hull and carries on at Anfield, Liverpool on Saturday, November 3 and concludes at Elland Road, Leeds on Sunday, November 11. Tickets for all three games are on sale now at rugby-league.com and cost from £25 for adults and £12.50 for concessions. ‘Our League’ members will get £5 off all ticket categories when purchased through the Our League App or website.