Warrington Wolves star George Williams makes NFL admission after historic Las Vegas announcement

Drew Darbyshire
George Williams Warrington Wolves Alamy

George Williams celebrates a Warrington Wolves win in 2024

Warrington Wolves star George Williams believes Super League heading to Las Vegas is a ‘step in the right direction’ and can only be a good thing for the British game.

It was confirmed on Tuesday morning that Williams and his Warrington side would take on his former club Wigan Warriors in a Super League fixture at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on March 1, 2025.

The Warriors and Wolves will do battle Stateside in a historic first for Super League, with the fixture being part of a four-game feast of rugby league. The game will be followed by the NRL clash between Canberra Raiders and New Zealand Warriors before Australia take on England in a women’s international Test match. The day will finish with NRL champions Penrith Panthers facing Cronulla Sharks.

Speaking to Love Rugby League in Manchester following the Las Vegas announcement, Warrington halfback Williams says it is a shot in the arm for the British game to showcase what it has to offer to a wider audience.

“It’s really exciting,” Williams said. “I think that’s probably the main feeling I’ve got at the moment, I’m really excited obviously.

“We’ve got a fair wait but it’s something to look forward to. For us players it’s probably an opportunity you never imagined you’d get.

“And for Super League, I think it’s a step in the right direction. I know the NRL had massive success with it so hopefully we can follow suit.”

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Williams watched the start of the NRL‘s Las Vegas adventure earlier this year from his sofa in the north of England, and was licking his lips at the thought of Super League one day being there.

“I was just wishing we could do it!” Williams smiled. “At that time you never thought it would be possible so I’m really glad.

“I know Kris Radlinski (Wigan chief executive) and Karl Fitzpatrick (Warrington chief executive) have done a fair bit of work to get it over the line.

“We heard about the rumours a few weeks ago and I was thinking ‘please make it happen’. I’m just really glad it’s happened and there are two great clubs going over there, too.”

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England skipper Williams has enjoyed a distinguished playing career to date, which saw him have an impressive but short spell in Australia with Canberra Raiders – but he has never been to Las Vegas. However, that’s about to change.

He will be going twice in the space of five months, having already booked his stag do in the Sin City this autumn once the rugby season is complete.

“I’m actually going for my stag do in November,” Williams laughed. “So that’ll be different to the business one in March, so I’ll see both sides of it.

“Me and my mates are going for four days so it’ll be different but I’m really looking forward to playing at the Allegiant. I’ll probably go and see the stadium whilst I’m out there and see what it’s about so I’m looking forward to it.”

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George Williams believes American sports fans would love rugby league

Williams actually has previous experience of rugby league heading to the USA. He was part of England’s travelling squad that took on New Zealand in Denver back in 2018, which was watched by a crowd of 19,320.

And he believes rugby league’s long-term venture to the States could help strengthen ties between the RFL, NRL and the NFL moving forwards. Rugby League Cares have recently attended NFL workshops in the States regarding their welfare and wellbeing programmes.

“I think Americans love contact sport, don’t they? The NFL etc,” Williams told Love Rugby League.

“I know our product works, if you watch it you enjoy it, so we just need to get more people watching it and we’ve got some great athletes, so hopefully we can showcase it.

“The NFL has so many great athletes and it’s similar with rugby league. You might see NFL clubs taking some of our players (over the years), we need to showcase that and get our athletes globally seen if that makes sense because we’ve got some great athletes. Let’s grow the game and it might help the NFL and rugby league in the long run.”

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