England to find out soon if they will be heading Stateside

ENGLAND should know if they are heading to Denver by the start of the Super League season.

And their World Cup near miss is likely to bring a near £1million windfall to rugby league.

Kallum Watkins England Rugby League World Cup

National boss Wayne Bennett has hinted he may look to stay on if the proposal to face New Zealand in Colorado on June 23 comes off.

Promoter Jason Moore has offered both sides $500,000 (£370,000) to play at Mile High Stadium but NRL clubs, for whom all the Kiwis and several England players play, are dragging their heels.

But Rugby Football League chief commercial officer Roger Draper has revealed a decision should be made this month, while also lifting the lid on the impact reaching the World Cup final has had.

At least one new sponsorship deal with the national side is set to be announced, along with a potential naming rights deal for the Championship and League One.

John Bateman England Rugby League World Cup

He said: “The initial plans were to try and open up new markets with the Denver game., that’s still our number one target.

“There are still a few Is to dot and Ts to cross before that match could be announced but we’ve made it clear to clubs here that we want to play the game there.

“There’s a lot going on in the next few weeks, both domestically and internationally and hopefully it can be sorted before the beginning of the season.

“But we’re quite excited, if we can pull that off.

“We set ourselves stretch targets and we’re already at 89 per cent of our target for Super League and doing well across the RFL.

“We’ve a couple of big announcements to make in the next couple of weeks, one relating to England and one relating to Super League, the Championship and League One.

“But the World Cup has had a positive effect on commercial sales, which have gone up over the last couple of years – the target was £1.4 million, now its £2.3 million.

“There’s certainly more interest in the game now, not just with season ticket sales or things like that but the clubs have had a good off-season, whether that’s related to the World Cup I don’t know.”

Super League clubs are set to vote to go up to 14 teams at a meeting tomorrow while talks on the next broadcast deal are starting, with Draper revealing streaming matches online is possible after 44,000 watched England’s World Cup warm-up game against Combined Affiliated States.

One thing not likely to change, though, in the short term is the date and venue of the Challenge Cup final.

Draper added to SunSport: “We’re always reviewing everything while trying to make sure it remains a showpiece event.

“But while we’ve looked at our options, I can certainly see it being on August Bank Holiday Weekend at Wembley for the next few years.”

Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/uncategorized/5293693/england-to-find-out-soon-if-they-will-be-heading-stateside/

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