It would be “disappointing” if Denver test doesn’t go ahead

Former New Zealand and Warrington winger Henry Fa’afili says it would be disappointing if the scheduled test against England in Denver doesn’t go ahead.

There are still doubts over the game, due to be played on June 23 at the Mile High Stadium, following the NRL’s apparent reluctance to release players for the match, despite it sitting on an international weekend.

Those fears prompted an open letter from England’s NRL-based players urging for the test to be allowed to go ahead, while there have been high profile messages from both camps to allay worries over medical and player welfare.

Fa’afili, 37, won nine caps for the Kiwis between 2001 and 2006 and made 97 appearances for Warrington during a four year stint, scoring 73 tries.

He said: “It would be disappointing if the game in Denver weren’t to go ahead. We’ve got the opportunity to make history with our great game so I think we need to embrace it.

“You only have to see the excitement and reaction from the Americans when Shaun’s twinkle toes are on show. Then there’s Roger’s speed to beat players one on one, and Marty’s strength and power to fend and run over players. For them to experience it first-hand I think will be talked about for a long time.”

Another former Super League star, ex-Leeds and Wakefield back-rower Ali Lauitiiti, has also come out in support of the test as the NZRL try to turn the screw on the NRL.

He said: “Personally, I think it’s a great initiative and it’s worked for other sports so why can’t rugby league do the same thing. It’s our great game so why not bless the rest of the world with it.”