Rugby League: Big games attract big rugby league crowds

Leeds Rhinos celebrate their 2015 Super League Grand Final victory.
Leeds Rhinos celebrate their 2015 Super League Grand Final victory.
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A CROWD of more than 43,000 is expected at London’s Olympic Stadium tomorrow, when England face New Zealand in the second Test of the international series.

England are 1-0 up following a 26-12 victory in front of more than 23,000 fans in Hull last Sunday and the final game of the series, at Wigan’s DW Stadium in eight days’ time, is already sold out.

England coach Steve McNamara said: “The atmosphere and crowd at Hull on Sunday was just what we needed to kick the series off. To hear that DW Stadium has now sold out is even better. Over 43,000 tickets have now been sold for London and that figure is increasing by the day.”

News of the sell-out is a huge boost to the RFL, a month after a capacity crowd of 73,512 packed Old Trafford for the Super League Grand Final between Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors.

The 2013 World Cup final, when New Zealand lost to Australia at Old Trafford, also sold out and 67,545 turned up at Wembley two years ago for that tournament’s semi-finals.

McNamara said that highlights supporters’ appetite for top-level competition.

He added: “Fans want to be at the big events and they don’t come much more bigger than these three games. Not only are the best rugby league players on show, but some of the finest athletes in the world.”