Wigan and Hull to play historic Super League fixture in Australia

Wigan will forfeit one of their regular-season home games in 2018 to take a fixture to Australia with current Challenge Cup holders Hull FC.

The two sides will play each other in Wollongong before heading to Sydney the following week to play a double-header against South Sydney and St George respectively.

Wigan and Hull will both return to the UK to participate in the World Club Challenge or Series on the weekend of 24/25 February, should either team qualify.

New South Wales Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Adam Marshall, said: “Australia is mad for rugby league and I am thrilled the NSW Government has secured these exclusive matches for Sydney and Wollongong which will drive visitors to both areas.

“The two Super League sides will spend two weeks in the State with the three-match tour expected to attract close to 5,000 interstate and overseas visitors to NSW, injecting more than $7 million into the local visitor economy.

“We have a stellar line-up of rugby league events already scheduled in NSW, with this tour following the 2017 NRL Grand Final in October and Women’s Rugby League World Cup in November and joining Game II of the State of Origin series in the 2018 major events calendar.”

Wigan Warriors chairman, Ian Lenagan, commented: “This announcement is one of the most innovative and exciting in the history of Wigan Rugby League Club. Director, Kris Radlinski, together with Commercial Sales Manager, Dan Burton, has been in negotiations with key stakeholders both in Australia and the UK over the last 12 months, delicately pulling together this complex agreement.

“The opportunities to create new and increased core business from sponsorships and partnerships together with Wigan brand development, the increased profile with NRL players and opportunity for our fans makes this the biggest single commercial contract in the history of the Club.

“The Wigan fans are famed for their loyal support as shown when a huge army of supporters travelled to Sydney for the World Club Challenge game with Sydney Roosters in 2014. We firmly believe that the Wigan and Hull fans will be as excited about this venture as we are and we have announced early to allow fans the chance to plan their trip to Australia and, at the same time, to provide clarity on the number of home games for the 2018 season before Season Ticket packages are launched later this year.”