With the success of the RLWC being palpable coupled with the wish to expand the game into new areas, it perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise that there is great interest in England playing a test match next summer in the USA.
Jason Moore, the man behind the bid to take the RLWC to North America in 2025, is deep in negotiations to host a fully fledged test match between England and New Zealand in 2018, potentially in Denver, over the 23rd and 24th of June – a weekend given over to the State of Origin which, in turn, leaves no NRL matches being played therefore leaving Kiwis free to play an international. Indeed, over the last few years, the Kiwis have played other Pacific nations in mid season but haven’t played a mid-season test against England before. Interestingly, it would come a mere few months before the three test series hosted in the UK next winter between the two clubs.
Such is the support for the international game following the success of this winter’s RLWC, Moore can’t think of any real reason that the NRL or RFL should object to the proposal when it is put to the Australasian officials this week, stating that “It’s an opportunity for the players to go to a new market and showcase the elite level of rugby league.” Indeed, it is of obvious importance to the powers that be to develop the game in North America with Toronto set to be joined by at least one new American team in the near future as well as the RLWC being held there in eight years time.
Perhaps it would be a great thing for the development of the sport in North America if a top level international test – between two of the three best teams in the world – was held there in the near future?