The dream is over for England fans: there will be no Four Nations final appearance this year.
But that really shouldn’t stop rugby league fans heading across the M62 this weekend and getting to Anfield for the showpiece final between Australia and New Zealand. We think it will be a cracking affair and, if the weather holds, it will be a truly memorable showpiece. Here’s five reasons why, with a crowd of around 35,000 expected as it stands, we think you should get along and boost the numbers..
It’s value for money
Don’t forget, this is a major international final: and you can be there watching for as cheap as £20. To see some of the greatest players in the world – and indeed the history of our sport – that’s not bad going. Granted, the cheapest prices are going to give you seats where you might need binoculars – but even then, you can find something a bit more suitable in the pricing bracket to suit your needs.
It’s a brand new venue for international Rugby League
Any time rugby league gets itself in at a new venue, there’s always piqued interest. And this weekend, the sport is seriously going to be showcased in a wonderful arena: Anfield. St Helens fans may have been there before – they have hosted a Super League fixture there in the 90s – but for neutrals, this is surely one you can’t afford to miss out on as international RL breaks new ground.
We don’t get games of this magnitude that often
Unless you embarked on the lengthy trip to Coventry a couple of weeks ago, chances are you won’t have seen an Australia-New Zealand game live in the flesh for years. That alone makes it unmissable; it’s two of the sport’s biggest nations – if not the biggest two – vying for a piece of major silverware. The fact you’ll be neutral means you can go along and simply enjoy it!
It’s the last time we’ll see some of the greats on these shores
The holy trinity: Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith. All three of those guys are now well into their 30s – meaning that we may not see them in the UK playing for the Kangaroos again. As an England fan, that could be cause for celebration in a couple of years! But first, why not take in the opportunity to see those legends in the flesh one last time.
Who knows when we’ll see an international in England again?
England won’t be playing on home soil next year – and until the Rugby League International Federation stamp down their plans for the cycle leading up to the 2021 World Cup, it’s hard to know when we’ll see the national side – or any major international – in this country again. To that end, get along and enjoy the pinnacle of our sport: you won’t regret it.