With recent wins against both England and Australia, the NZ Kiwis are now #1 in the rugby league standings. They’re proud of what they’ve achieved but their ultimate goal is to be known as the most consistently successful team in the game.
They get their first chance when they tour the UK later this year, playing a three test series against England at Hull, November 1, London, November 7 and Wigan, November 14.
NZ Kiwis v England tests have always been challenging and exciting, perhaps none more so than the home sides heart-breaking World Cup semi-final loss. On that occasion, NZ five-eighth Shaun Johnson converted his try after the final hooter to steal victory and a spot in the final.
“We’re excited to return to the United Kingdom, which is still buzzing from the success of that World Cup tournament,” says NZRL chief executive Phil Holden.
“It will give us another chance to build on the intense rivalry between these two sides and will provide the Kiwis with another important stepping stone as we build towards the next World Cup in 2017, co-hosted in NZ and Australia.”
The tour means New Zealand and England will face each other through four consecutive years in the World Cup build-up with wins to the Kiwis in 2013 and 2014, and trips to the UK in both 2015 and 2016 (Four Nations).
“Whenever we’ve toured there in the past, it has proved very challenging in terms of facing England on home soil,” says Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney. “The World Cup was really the first time we’d won there in quite some time.
“When you look at the way their players have continued to develop in the NRL, you can see it will be a real contest and vital towards our preparation for the next World Cup.”
Kiwis’ fans are encouraged to get behind their team, to ‘Be There, Be #18’, filling the stands and cheering their team on to victory. In the words of Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney “you can inspire the boys when it’s tough out there.”
To be a part of this special tour visit www.nzrl.co.nz.