Rhinos to play Kiwis at Headingley

An international touring team will once again play a domestic British club side, when New Zealand play Leeds Rhinos at Headingley on Friday, October 23.

The game will be the first time a Super League club has played a touring side since 2002. Leeds have not played a touring team since they faced the Kangaroos in 1994.

There are a number of significant anniversaries associated with the occasion, which also marks the extensive links the Leeds club has with New Zealand.

The game will help to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Headingley Stadium, with the ground’s first ever game of rugby taking pace on September 20, 1890, five years before the handling codes’ split.

The match will also mark it being 108 years since Leeds and the New Zealand touring side, then known as the All Golds, met at Headingley for the first time on October 26, 1907.

Rugby league’s first ever Test match was also held at Headingley, three months later. The Northern Union won that game 14-6 on January 25, 1908.

 “To have been granted a game against the current Four Nations champions is a huge honour and a privilege for Leeds Rhinos. Ourselves and the Kiwis have a long shared history and this will be the chance to write a new chapter.  Leeds chief Executive Gary Hetherington said.

“Our links with New Zealand include the many great players who have played for us down the years like Bert Cook, Dean Bell and Ali Lauitiiti from New Zealand.

“This will be fitting way to bring down the curtain on the 2015 season and a special occasion to be at Headingley, just like our recent World Club Challenge clashes with Melbourne and Manly.

“The current group of players have achieved so much together however this would be a first even for them and it will be a special night.”

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