An agreement to stage an annual rugby league match between England and New Zealand at Denver’s Mile High Stadium has been scrapped.
The two teams met at the 76,000-seat stadium, which is the home of NFL team the Denver Broncos, on June 23. The game saw England run out 36-18 winners against New Zealand and marked the first Test of a planned three-year agreement.
However, it has emerged that the next two Tests have been cancelled, with the BBC reporting that promoter Jason Moore has failed to meet a deadline to pay England’s Rugby Football League and New Zealand Rugby League.
The US is due to co-host the 2025 Rugby World Cup alongside Canada and the England-New Zealand Tests had been organised to help raise the profile of the sport in North America.
According to the BBC, Rugby League International Federation chief executive Nigel Wood said his body will “seek further discussions with the promoter” to evaluate “any potential implications” for the 2025 World Cup, which could be in doubt following the cancellation of the Tests.
A crowd of 19,230 attended the June game at Mile High Stadium – around a quarter of the venue’s capacity.
Following the cancellation of the upcoming Tests, New Zealand has organised a game against Tonga as a replacement.
On the cancellation of the Tests, NZRL chief executive Greg Peters said, according to Sky Sports: “We’re not going to Denver in 2019, I can assure you of that. We’ve tried to engage with him (Moore) without success.”