Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium will be one of the venues to host the 2016 Four Nations tournament.
The Giants home hosts England’s clash against New Zealand on Saturday October 29 (2.30pm), with the final set to be held at one of the most iconic stadiums in world sport, Anfield, on Sunday, November 20 (2.30pm).
“It’s fantastic news for the whole town,” said Huddersfield Partnership manager Karen Hobson, anticipating thousands of fans heading to the game, which could feature the likes of Huddersfield star Jermaine McGillvary.
Six different venues across the country will be used during this year’s tournament – the second biggest international Rugby League competition in the world - taking in cities such as London, Coventry, Hull and Liverpool.
Home to one of England’s most successful football teams, Liverpool FC, Anfield last hosted a Rugby League game 19 years ago when St Helens moved their Super League fixture against Castleford to the Premier League ground. Wigan’s World Club Challenge game against Penrith Panthers in 1991 also took place at the Merseyside venue.
The Huddersfield fixture is expected to attract a sell-out crowd of 24,500 to the Stadium which has hosted several previous high-profile rugby games.
In November 2013, a World Cup game between England and Ireland attracted 24,375 fans, while the 2003 game between Great Britain and Australia attracted a crowd of 24,126.
The Stadium is also, of course, home to Huddersfield Town and has football record crowd of 23,678 for the FA Cup match against Liverpool in December 1999.
Stadium managing director Gareth Davies said: “It’s great news and we have worked hard for this. Now we hope it will be a sellout.
“We did well with the World Cup game in 2013 but this is England’s opening game, their first under Wayne Bennett and the only one in this region. It should be a great occasion.”
Ms Hobson said: “It’s a great result for Huddersfield and it is a great way of raising our profile.
“It can only be a great boost to the local economy and I hope fans will decide to pay us a visit before October to see what Huddersfield has to offer.”
England’s opening game of the competition will be against familiar opposition as they look to carry on the success of last year’s International Series when they take on the world’s number one side New Zealand at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday October 29.
Breaking new ground, Ricoh Arena in Coventry will host its first-ever international Rugby League event since opening in 2005 on Saturday November 5 when England meet Scotland and Australia play rivals New Zealand in an international double-header at the 32,609-seater stadium.
England will return to the Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to play current World Champions Australia in London for the first time since 2013 on home soil in the penultimate game of the competition on Sunday November 13.
Four Nations Tournament Director, Jon Dutton, said: “We are delighted with the venues selected for the 2016 Four Nations and we are sure that the tournament will deliver compelling and memorable action on the field. Anfield is an iconic sporting venue and I am certain that all teams will be determined to reach the final to play in front of what will be a very special atmosphere.”
England Head Coach, Wayne Bennett, said: “I’m excited to begin work with this England team. The venues selected for our games in the Four Nations tournament are world class and I hope that the English fans will be out in force to support us and that we can do them proud on the field.”
England Captain, Sean O’Loughlin, said: “Playing at iconic venues such as the Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Anfield are one of the reasons we play the game. Walking out in front of 45,000 fans in London last year was one of the highlights of 2015 for me and I am sure that playing in front of big home crowds will push the team on to what will hopefully be a successful campaign.”
More than 50 per cent of tickets for the Four Nations are priced at £25 or less. Tickets are on sale from 8.00am on Friday April 22.
Early bird offer of £5 off all tickets to Four Nations final at Anfield (offer available until May 2). Buy your tickets today – adults from £15, concessions from £5.
Complimentary England merchandise available with tickets purchased to England games*.
Go to rugby-league.com/fournations or call the Rugby League Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 1113 (calls to this number will cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.)
Full 2016 Four Nations schedule is as follows: Australia v Scotland, KC Lightstream Stadium, Hull (Friday, October 28 8pm), England v New Zealand, The John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield, England v Scotland, Ricoh Arena, Coventry (Saturday, November 5 5.30pm), New Zealand v Australia, Ricoh Arena, Coventry (Saturday, November 5 (8pm), New Zealand v Scotland, The Zebra Claims Stadium, Workington (Friday, November 11 8pm), England v Australia, The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London (Sunday, November 13 3.30pm), Final, Anfield, Liverpool (Sunday, November 20 2.30pm)