It will be the first time the two rugby powerhouses will play each other on American soil.
New Zealand’s national rugby league team is set to face England at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday, June 23, in an International Rugby League contest. It will be the 17th time the countries have faced each other, but the first time the two rugby league powerhouses will play each other on American soil, organizers said.
New Zealand and England are ranked No. 2 and 3 in the world, respectively. The Kiwis hold a 9-6-1 edge in the all-time series against England.
“We’re excited that Denver gets to showcase such a marquee event in the sport of Rugby League Football,” Matthew Payne, executive director of the Denver Sports Commission, said in a statement. “The Mile High City is home to a passionate fan base of all sports, and our city will be looking forward to cheering on the national teams for New Zealand and England.”
Organizers hope the event helps build interest for the Rugby League World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the United States and Canada in 2025.
“The opportunity to take two of Rugby League’s top nations to the United States of America – a sport-mad country – can only strengthen interest in the game,” Ralph Rimmer, Rugby Football League’s interim CEO, said in a statement. “This fixture between England and New Zealand is sure to be a fantastic contest and we hope that the City of Denver come out in force to watch one of the most exciting team sports in the world.”
“This is a landmark moment for the growth of Rugby League Football internationally,” Jason Moore, the event’s promoter, said in a statement. “And a great opportunity for North American NFL fans to experience Rugby League Football, up close, with its nonstop bone-jarring action. A global sporting event not to be missed.”