Legends visit Olympic Park stadium

Jason Robinson and Robbie Hunter-Paul visited the 54,000-seater stadium at the Olympic Park in London to check on progress ahead of the England and New Zealand test match there later this year.

Robinson had the honour of scoring the first try at the former Olympic Stadium, which is currently being transformed ahead of the game on November 7.

He and Kiwi legend Hunter-Paul were coerced in to a game by a group of workers from Balfour Beatty.

Stuart Fraser, Stadium Project Director from Balfour Beatty, said: “We knew Jason and Robbie were coming down to see the Stadium’s progress and as quite a few of the lads are League fans, we joked about passing a ball around and seeing if they’d dare to get their suits dirty. We never thought for a second that we’d split into teams with Jason captaining England and Robbie New Zealand. It was a really surreal but fantastic experience.”

Robinson said: “I certainly didn’t wake up this morning thinking I was going to score the first try at the former Olympic Stadium! It all started as a bit of fun but those lads weren’t holding back and naturally they’re built like steel. It was a brilliant match, everyone enjoyed it and I can’t wait for the Stadium to be finished. Next time we’ll have some grass to cushion the blows.”

Hunter-Paul added: “I’m bitterly disappointed that we didn’t win. If truth be told, I let Jason win but only because I know the Kiwis will finish what we started when they come here on the seventh of November. It should be a really special international series – especially in this fantastic Stadium.”

The pair faced each other on the international scene back in 1999, when the Kiwis defeated Great Britain 26-4 in Auckland.

The England vs New Zealand autumn international series kicks off at the KC Stadium in Hull on Sunday November 1 (5.00pm) before attention turns to the former Olympic Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on Saturday November 7 (2.30pm). The series concludes at the DW Stadium, Wigan on Saturday November 14 (1.00pm).

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