The NZRL have confirmed that their preparations for New Zealand’s clash with England in Denver are ‘coming together nicely’.
The match, which will be played at Mile High Stadium on June 23, has been met with a fierce backlash in Australia, with clubs reportedly concerned about a number of aspects of the trip, leading to fears the historic game could fall through.
But the NZRL have confirmed that the players’ insurance policies – a key concern of some clubs – has been finalised, with sources telling TotalRL last month players taking part in the game would have the most comprehensive insurance package any international rugby league player has ever received.
The NZRL have also said that players selected to represent their country while in Denver will “continue to receive benefits that mirror the current NRL representative, State of Origin and ANZAC Test insurance policies in place”. They will also receive extra insurance required for playing in the United States.
“There’s always a lot of preparation that goes into any fixture the Kiwis play in, whether it’s a Test or a tour, and travelling overseas, regardless of where it is means the same rigorous processes are undertaken,” Kiwis manager Nadene Conlon said.
“Of course playing in Denver brings with it some unique considerations but having experts on board like Greg Macleod allows us to be prepared in the best possible manner.”
And two leading NRL Kiwi internationals have thrown their support behind the game, too.
“Pulling on the Kiwis jersey is always an honour and privilege – it’s the pinnacle for any New Zealand Rugby League player,” Wests co-captain Elijah Taylor said. “Any opportunity I get I’ll grab with both hands and I’m 100 percent committed to every Kiwi game wherever it’s played.
“I understand the NRL clubs have concerns about playing in Denver, so it’s great to see the player insurance has been sorted for the Test, along with Doctor Macleod’s reassuring words that the conditions over there don’t increase our chances of injury. In the camps I’ve been a part of with the Kiwis, we’ve been well looked after and I expect the Test in Denver will be no different.”
Adam Blair, a director of the Rugby League Players Association, added: “Everything looks like it’s falling into place and I’m excited not only for the international game, but for NZRL, as this is a great opportunity to showcase our game in America.”