Destination USA next in line for NRL

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Destination USA next in line for NRL

A proposed international window could allow the Kangaroos to take a rugby league Test to the United States in a bid to grow the game abroad.

Club matches could also be headed to the States according to NRL head of game strategy and development, Shane Richardson, as rugby league looks to grow off the exposure of Jarryd Hayne in the US.

“We shouldn’t rule it out in any capacity,” Richardson told Fairfax Media.

“In the past as soon as you put up international rugby league you got bashed, ridiculed, but it’s actually a growth area of the game for us.”

The Kangaroos haven’t played in America since 2004 when they faced the USA Tomahawks on an artificial field, however the Wallabies attracted more than 23,000 people when they played a Rugby World Cup warm-up match in Chicago, in September.

Richardson also hinted that the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) was looking at how an expanded Auckland Nines concept could be used for the economic growth of the game on the world stage.

“That’s a real commercial opportunity for the RLIF,” Richardson said.

“It’s a real opportunity to get commercial income that they can utilise and grow into some of the other nations like Tonga, Samoa and more importantly in Europe, where the game is growing despite people knocking it.

“Without money it is impossible to do.”

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