Super League in the US? NRL confirms expansion plans include English rugby league

Aaron Bower
Liam Farrell Wigan Warriors Super League Grand Final trophy Alamy

Wigan Warriors captain Liam Farrell lifts the Super League trophy - Alamy

Super League could be part of the plans for the NRL’s growth in the United States of America, after ARLC chairman Peter V’landys confirmed that Australian authorities were considering all options to get a foothold in the country over the coming years.

The NRL will launch its season in Las Vegas with a blockbuster double-header at the start of next month, but that is just the start of a long-term plan for rugby league to become recognised in one of the biggest sporting markets on the planet. And that plan appears to involve Super League, too.

V’landys insisted that there are global plans to grow the NRL and rugby league’s brands, and with research showing that English supporters would likely travel to the US for a game in huge numbers, they would be keen to get leading Super League clubs to the table for a discussion about playing a game there in the years ahead – as well as integrating the NRLW into the plans, too.

“Nick (Politis, Sydney Roosters chairman) said ‘you’ve got a unique situation with the women’s game. Why wouldn’t you take a women’s game to America’,” V’landys told “That would take our game to another to another level, especially considering how good they are.

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“The other one that we’re going to look at is Super League itself, because our research has shown that the biggest travellers are English. To take a Super League game there, as well, would generate a lot more people coming from England to the US.”

Earlier this week, RL Commercial boss Rhodri Jones told Love Rugby League he and IMG supremo Matt Dwyer are headed to Vegas for the NRL’s season-opener – and that they are keen to strengthen ties between Super League and the NRL with a view to getting high-profile events staged across the world.

“Matt and I are going to Vegas at the end of the month to see it and grow that relationship with the NRL,” he said. “We were eight or ten weeks too late this year in terms of having a valid conversation surrounding Las Vegas and the World Club Challenge: but that’s not to say it couldn’t happen going forward.”

Jones also revealed talks are well underway about the prospect of taking high-profile Super League games on the road in the coming years, too. That could see matches like the Hull derby and Wigan versus St Helens moved to high-profile stadia around the country.

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