1st August 2019, 07:19 | great_britain
Tickets are now on sale for the Great Britain Rugby League Lions’ return to action in New Zealand following a 12 year hiatus.
The Rugby League Lions kick-off their southern hemisphere tour, which will also include a Test Match in Papua New Guinea, against Tonga in Hamilton on Saturday 26 October. They will then play New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday 2 November, before taking on the Kiwis again a week later in Christchurch (Saturday 9 November). The GB Lions will then stop off at Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea on Saturday the 16th of November for their final Test before heading home.
The 2 November match is part of an Eden Park triple header that also sees Australia’s Kangaroos lock horns with Jason Taumalolo’s mighty Mate Ma’a Tonga, and Samoa and Fiji clash in the Oceania Cup.
“This is an international rugby league spectacle which we’re not used to witnessing outside of the World Cup”, said NZRL chief executive Greg Peters. “The Oceania Cup and Lions Tour not only give fans and players more test match action but they highlight the quality of league being played around the globe.
“From the power and flair of our Pacific Nations to the long-awaited return of the GB Lions, these tests will shine a big spotlight on our game, as fans and players from both hemispheres set to congregate down under to witness nothing but world-class rugby league action.
“It’s a really promising time for rugby league, we know fans are already excited –so I’d urge people to get their tickets nice and early. We look forward to the blockbuster international calendar that awaits.
International Rugby League Federation General Manager Southern Hemisphere, Jeremy Edwards, added:
It is the first time in many, many years we have got some meaningful content into the Pacific. The Oceania Cup competition finally gives the nations down here a bit of respect.”
While the Kiwis, Kangaroos and Tonga are vying for the Oceania Cup, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea also have plenty to play for with the Oceania Shield and promotion to the Cup competition up for grabs. The winner of the Shield will replace Australia in the Cup competition in 2020.
“That not only gives the top team in Pool B a chance to move into Pool A, but allows us to bring in the Cook Islands to Pool B,” says Edwards. “The Cook Islands has produced some incredible rugby league players and they are doing really well at the moment. They have got a match in November against the USA for the final position in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.
Edwards said the return of the Rugby LeagueLions after a 12-year hiatus was also a huge positive for the international game.
“There is some really exciting stuff happening down here in the Pacific. To be able to reinvigorate that and bring them down to this part of the world is really fantastic and the desire for the Lions to go to Papua New Guinea to play the Kumuls says a lot about the development of rugby league in the Pacific. These matches open up so many doors for tourism and government opportunities – I think it is sensational.”
With adult tickets starting from $20* (Christchurch and Hamilton) $25* (Auckland) and family passes from $50* (Christchurch and Hamilton) $60* (Auckland), Edwards said the triple header at Eden Park would provide tremendous value for money for rugby league fans.
“That is one of the things we have tried to do, to be able to appeal to Mum, Dad and the kids to come along and watch six great nations on family tickets that are really attractively priced. It’s three great matches of footy at a great venue, right in the middle of Auckland. It’s a sensational evening of rugby league in rugby union heartland.”
The return of international rugby league to Christchurch and Hamilton after the cities successfully hosted matches during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup was also exciting, he said.
“Christchurch is a great venue, great city, beautiful scenery. Why not go and have a couple of days while you are there? And Hamilton is a great place as well with a great venue.”
Tickets to the Great Britain Rugby League Lions tour and Oceania Cup match tickets are on-sale today HERE.