Rugby betting will return to the north of England in 2018. The M62 corridor, more specifically Hull, Liverpool and Leeds have been chosen to host England’s Test series against New Zealand next year, as the Rugby Football League ruled out a return to London. The second Test versus New Zealand in 2015 attracted an encouraging crowd of 44,393 to the old Olympic Stadium but only 35,569 returned for the visit of Australia in 2017’s Four Nations Series. As a result, organizers came to the conclusion that they should stick with the north of England, which is after all, for all intents and purposes, rugby country.
The opening match will be played at Hull’s KCOM Stadium on Saturday, October 27th and, after the successful 2016 Four Nations final, which brought in a crowd of 40,042 for the meeting between Australia and New Zealand, international rugby league will go back to Anfield for the second Test a week later. The series will end on Sunday, November 11th at Elland Road, which will be hosting its first Test match since the 2011 Four Nations final pitting England against Australia. Tickets for all three games are on sale now at rugby-league.com, ranging from £25 for adults and £12.50 for concessions. ‘Our League’ members will get £5 off all ticket categories when they purchase through the Our League App or website.
Three cities, Two Teams, One Rivalry 👊
Dates and venues here 👉 https://t.co/bQbjfhLp27
— England Rugby League (@England_RL) November 22, 2017
“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,” Nigel Wood, chief executive of Rugby Football League, currently in Australia for the rugby betting event known as the World Cup, said. “Fans [whether they bet on rugby or not] 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.”
The New Zealanders were the top ranked country in the world when they came to England for the 2015 Test series but they have since fallen on hard times and are at this moment still recovering from not being able to reach the 2017 World Cup semi-finals. England head coach Wayne Bennett, whose contract with the RFL ends immediately after the World Cup, has not discarded helping New Zealand but approves of the choice of venues for 2018. “Hull, Leeds and Liverpool will all do a great job in hosting the games and supporters,” he said. “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.”
So, to summarize, international rugby betting will be making a long waited return to the north of England; namely, to Hull, Liverpool and Leeds, when the English team hosts its New Zealand counterpart for the 2018 Test series.