International rugby league returns to Headingley

Belgium and Malta will meet in an international match as a curtain raiser to the Leeds and Hull Super League game at Headingley on Sunday June 21.

The first international rugby league match was held at the stadium back in 1908, and it also staged the 1970 World Cup final.

Leeds CEO Gary Hetherington said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming the rugby league fans of Malta and Belgium and those with an interest in seeing the further expansion of the sport across Europe.

“I’m sure the Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC fans will create a great atmosphere and make it an occasion to remember for both nations.”

Belgium are now coached by former Oldham and Leigh boss Tony Benson, and were beaten 52-10 by Spain in their last international match.

Malta are hopeful of being able to include their highest profile player, Wakefield’s Jarrod Sammut, and coach Anthony Micallef is hoping to field up to 11-domestic based players.

Micallef said: “The team wanted more fixtures and an opportunity to move up the international rankings.

“We are very thankful to Belgium accepting the match for what should be a great occasion at Headingley Carnegie.”

The last international match held at Headingley was the 2013 World Cup quarter final between New Zealand and Scotland, when the Kiwis ran home 40-4 winners in front of a 16,207-strong crowd.

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