NRL clubs set to release players for Denver Test following dialogue with RFL

The proposed Test match between England and New Zealand in Denver has moved a step closer after extensive dialogue between the RFL, New Zealand and Australia officials.

NZRL chairman Reon Edwards and the RFL management team held discussions on Tuesday with all 16 NRL clubs, the RLPA, the RFL and NRL executives.

Despite the game on June 23rd being sanctioned by the RLIF, concerns had been raised by NRL clubs and the RLPA relating to medical and travel issues.

But clubs now look set to release players for the match after NZRL claimed clear-the-air talks had satisfied the concerns raised.

NZRL Chair Reon Edwards said: “It was really positive to receive those comments. Of course NZRL is committed to following through on its commitment to deliver on the player management plan and maintain ongoing communication with clubs.

“By taking this RLIF sanctioned Test match to Denver we are breaking new ground for International Rugby League. I am the first to admit, the communication and information sharing with clubs could further improve, however all clubs have now been educated around NZRL’s commitment to mitigate the risks associated with the Denver travel demands.

“We’re looking forward to taking our Kiwi players to a new and exciting destination and giving the Americans a taste of International Rugby League.”

The Kiwis team doctor, Greg MacLeod, and high-performance coach Donny Singe provided a report on how player welfare issues would be dealt with before and during the tour.

Doctor MacLeod said: “Our priority is to ensure we mitigate those risks associated with travelling long distances, a short turnaround and player workload. We have an extremely competent medical team and high-performance staff and we’re fully committed to making this tour a success.”