International Rugby League will return to Wembley Stadium for the first time since 1997 when the second round of fixtures in the 2011 Gillette Four Nations series take place at the national stadium this autumn.
On Saturday 5 November the RFL will stage a double-header of International Rugby League, which will see hosts England taking on Australia, kick off 3.30pm and Wales, who will be making their Four Nations debut, facing current Four Nations and World Champions New Zealand in the first of the two games, kick off 1.00pm.
The last international at Wembley was between Great Britain and Australia 14 years ago and England have not played at the national stadium since the 1995 World Cup final when Australia were the victors in front of a 66,540 crowd. "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 in the autumn,” said RFL chief executive Nigel Wood.
"With some of the world’s best Rugby 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 2011 Gillette Four Nations tournament commences on Friday 28 October at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, when holders New Zealand take on Australia in a repeat of last year’s Four Nations Final. The match will kick off at 8.00pm. The following day tournament hosts England take on Wales at the Leigh Sports Village with the match kicking off at 2.30pm.
After the Wembley showcase round, the final week of group fixtures sees New Zealand travel to Hull to play England at the KC Stadium on Saturday 12 November, kick off 6.00pm, with Australia making the trip to the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham to face Wales on Sunday 13 November, kick off 5.45pm.
The final of the tournament will be played at Elland Road, Leeds, the venue of the 2009 Gillette Fusion Four Nations Final, on Saturday 19 November, kick off 6.00pm. Jared Regan, Gillette brand manager, said: “We are delighted to once again be title sponsors of the Gillette Four Nations. This exciting tournament has grown over the years to become one of the sporting calendar’s premier events.
"We are especially looking forward to welcoming Wales into the tournament, and eagerly await the arrival of Australia and New Zealand to these shores. And, as England sponsor, we of course hope to see the host nation do particularly well!”
"This year’s tournament will have the added profile of a double header at Wembley, and we applaud the decision to take two of the fixtures to arguably the best sporting arena in the world. Gillette have committed considerable resource to this year’s tournament, and we’re sure Rugby League fans old and new will join us in looking forward to an autumn of thrilling games played out before packed stadia.”
For ticketing information please see www.therfl.co.uk.
Posted on 02/11/2011