England have announced a three match test against Australia in 2020.
The matches will take place following the conclusion of the Betfred Super League season in October.
The first match will take place on Halloween Afternoon at the University of Bolton Stadium, a place synonymous with rugby league having hosted the Challenge Cup Semi Final double header for the last two seasons, as well as previously hosting the Womens Challenge Cup Final and previous World Club Challenges.
Then the second test takes place a week later at another ground with rugby league history in Elland Road. The home of Leeds United have acted as a temporary home for Leeds Rhinos, for World Club Challenges and also whilst Headingley was being refurbished. It has also held several internationals at the stadium in recent years.
The final test will then take place in new territory as they head to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. In the short space of time it has been open, it has hosted football and NFL games with the power of a retractable pitch.
RFL Chief Executive, Ralph Rimmer, said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming Australia back to this country for the first time since 2016. International Rugby League is the pinnacle of our game and some of the best rugby players on the planet will be involved.
“We hope the venues we have chosen, with a split between Lancashire, Yorkshire and London, will be popular both with regular Rugby League supporters and also the broader sporting public. The University of Bolton Stadium and Elland Road have both staged successful Rugby League events in recent years, and it’s exciting for us to be taking a first fixture to the stunning Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
“England were just an ankle tap away from taking the 2017 World Cup Final against Australia into extra time and last year’s success against New Zealand suggests that this will be a series not to be missed.”
Kevin Sinfield MBE, the RFL’s Rugby Director who heads the England Performance Unit, added: “We showed a lot of skill and courage in the 2017 final, and proved to ourselves and the world that we are now within touching distance of the world’s number one.
“The prospect of taking on the touring Kangaroos in 2020, and putting a marker down for 2021 World Cup selection, will give every aspiring England international added incentive next season. These are exciting times for international Rugby League.”
Todd Greenberg, the CEO of Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL), said: “It will be wonderful to see the Kangaroos involved in another Ashes series. International Rugby League has been going through an incredible period and an Ashes series will be another highlight.
“The Ashes has such history in our game and to see it return will be very special. It will also build some strong momentum into the 2021 World Cup.”
The announcement of this series comes as England launch their official supporters club, the Wall of White.
Amongst the benefits you get, you can get money off tickets, a welcome pack including a hat and a pin badge. You will also get a guaranteed ticket for England matches in the 2021 World Cup.
Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, says: “We’re thrilled to be launching the ‘Wall of White’ supporters club and delighted to be able to begin introducing a range of exclusive deals to legions of England Rugby League fans.
“With a Rugby League Ashes series to look forward to next year and a World Cup taking place here in 2021, there couldn’t be a better time for England supporters to nail their colours to the mast – and also to take advantage of a fantastic offer on tickets for the mouth-watering three-game series against Australia.”