Super League’s Stateside Expansion and England’s Triumph in Denver

Super League’s Stateside Expansion and England’s Historic Denver Test Match

As the Super League prepares to expand its reach to the United States in 2025, the English game’s long-standing connection with North America has once again captured the spotlight. In 2018, the England national team traveled to Denver, Colorado, and emerged victorious in a convincing 36-18 win over New Zealand. The squad that day was brimming with some of the best talent in the English game, many of whom continue to ply their trade in the Super League.

The England Squad from the Denver Test Match

A closer look at the England squad from that historic test match in Denver reveals the current status of these players. Stefan Ratchford, the Warrington Wolves fullback who sported the number one jersey, is still a mainstay in Super League, having made over 330 appearances for his club since joining in 2012. Jermaine McGillvary, the iconic Huddersfield Giants winger, recently made a move to Wakefield Trinity, where he has already made an impact with six tries in eight games.

In the centers, John Bateman, now with the Wests Tigers in the NRL, has been linked with a return to the Super League in 2025. His fellow center, St Helens’ Mark Percival, continues to be a key member of the Saints squad, having helped the club win numerous trophies since his debut in 2013.

On the wing, Super League legend Ryan Hall, now with Hull KR, is set to make a homecoming to Leeds Rhinos in 2025 after becoming the league’s all-time top try scorer. Jonny Lomax, the versatile St Helens star, has spent his entire career with the club, amassing over 340 appearances and multiple titles.

Successful Careers in the NRL

The squad also featured several players who have gone on to have successful careers in the NRL, such as Gareth Widdop, who recently returned to the UK to join Halifax, and the Burgess brothers, Sam and Tom, the former of whom is now the head coach at Warrington.

The Historic Encounter in Denver

The Denver test match was led by the renowned coach Wayne Bennett, who has since had an illustrious career, including stints with various NRL and international teams. The match showcased the depth of talent in the English game and the growing global appeal of rugby league.

As the Super League embarks on its American adventure, the legacy of that historic encounter in Denver serves as a testament to the sport’s international reach and the enduring passion of its fans.

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