Elland Road to host final Test of England series with Kiwis

Luke Gale, who will be hoping to play in next year's Test series with New Zealand. Picture: NRLPhotos
Luke Gale, who will be hoping to play in next year's Test series with New Zealand. Picture: NRLPhotos

INTERNATIONAL rugby league will return to Elland Road for the first time in seven years when England face New Zealand at the home of Leeds United in 2018.

The RFL has confirmed the venues for next year’s three-match series against the Kiwis with the Leeds ground hosting the third and final Test on Sunday, November 11 (3pm).

The last time England played there was the 2011 Four Nations final loss against Australia – a game in which current England internationals Ryan Hall, James Graham, James Roby and Gareth Widdop all took part.

With Leeds Rhinos having already announced Super League fixtures with Hull KR and Castleford Tigers, it becomes the third rugby league game taking place at Elland Road next year.

The opening game of next year’s series with New Zealand will take place at the KCOM Stadium in Hull on Saturday, October 27 (2.30pm) and following the success of the 2016 Four Nations Final when over 40,000 spectators witnessed Australia beat New Zealand, international Rugby League will return to Anfield in Liverpool for the second test on Saturday, November 3 (2.30pm).

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.

The Kiwis last visited England for a Test series in 2015 – when the hosts emerged victorious winning the series and lifting the Baskerville Shield in front of a sell-out crowd in Wigan. The visitors will be determined to put a disappointing World Cup campaign behind them and rediscover the form that saw them ranked the number one team in the world in 2015 and for much of 2016.

Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood, said: “With the eyes of the nation firmly fixed on England’s progress in the World Cup we are delighted to announce that international Rugby League is returning to home soil in 2018.

“Fans will be able to see some the biggest names in the game compete at three fantastic stadiums. The KCOM stadium, Anfield and Elland Road are all venues that I am sure will inspire the players and I am certain that England fans will help create incredible atmospheres at each of these grounds next year.”

England head coach Wayne Bennett said: “International Rugby League is the pinnacle in any player’s career and it’s good to see a traditional Test series confirmed in the calendar for next year.

“Games between England and New Zealand always deliver plenty of entertainment and drama and I expect next year’s series will be no different.

“Hull, Leeds and Liverpool will all do a great job in hosting the games and supporters. I know Anfield is new to the mix for England, but seeing so many people attend the Four Nations final last year is promising for the game and I hope the fans will turn out in great number once again.”

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