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Kangaroos return to Wembley

01/07/2011 04:23:48 PM Comments (0)

International rugby league will return to Wembley for the first time this century with Australia to take on England at the famed venue during the end-of-year Four Nations tournament.

The Kangaroos will clash with the host nation on November 5 as part of a double-header at Wembley. The famous ground last hosted a league international in 1997 when the Australians took on Great Britain.

The game will be preceded by a match-up between New Zealand and Wales.

Officials have steered clear of the 90,000-seat venue for fear of playing before a near-empty stadium, with rugby league traditionally a stronghold confined to the north of England rather than the capital.

But with momentum building towards the 2013 World Cup in England and Wales, the governing body in England said it is keen to test interest in the code in London.

"Wembley Stadium is known around the world for staging some of the biggest and most important events in sport, and we are delighted to be taking international rugby league back to one of the world's most iconic stadiums," Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood said.

"With some of the world's best players on show at Wembley, we will undoubtedly raise the profile of the sport on the national and international stage.

"We hope that this fantastic event will help to bring the drama of the sport to a much wider audience, especially with the 2013 Rugby League World Cup only a few years away."

The Kangaroos will open their campaign on October 28 against World Cup holders New Zealand at Warrington's Halliwell Jones Stadium in a repeat of last year's Four Nations final in Brisbane.

England will take on Wales at the Leigh Sports Village the following day, with the double-header to be played the next weekend.

The last of the group matches will pit New Zealand against England at Hull's KC Stadium on November 12, that match likely to determine who will play tournament favourites Australia in the final.

The Kangaroos wrap up their preliminary matches on November 13 against Wales at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham.

The final will be played at Elland Road in Leeds on November 19, the same venue where Australia beat England to claim the 2009 Four Nations title.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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