By Michael Spencer
DENVER (CBS) – On Saturday afternoon sports fans in Denver will have the opportunity to watch Rugby League Football at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.
Saturday’s game between New Zealand and England will be the first-ever international Test Match on US soil and will serve as a prelude to the 2025 Rugby League World Cup which will take place in Canada and the United States.
“We fervently believe American football fans are going to take to Rugby League because it’s fast-paced, hard-hitting nonstop action that is easy for fans to follow,” said John Paul Basile of Moore Sports International.
“As the professional code of the game since 1895, the original (Union) rules were adapted over time to make the game more exciting for fans.”
So what can fans expect from Rugby League?
– 80 minute game consisting of two halves
– 13 players on the field per team
– Scoring possessions consisting of six downs
– Players playing both offense and defense
– No pads and no blocking with limited substitutions
– Closest style/code of rugby to the NFL
In addition to seeing a sport closely resembling American football, fans will be treated to a premier matchup as New Zealand and England are two of the top Rugby League squads in the world, ranking second and third, respectively. The two sides will be facing each other for the 17th time, with New Zealand leading the all-time series 9-6-1.
Prior to the game the New Zealand Kiwis (named after a New Zealand native bird) will perform a Maori cultural challenge known as the haka. Traditionally, the war haka was performed by warriors before a battle, proclaiming their strength and prowess in order to intimidate their opponents.
See some photos of the haka below:
Saturday’s game will also have a Broncos’ flare to it as the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders and Stampede Drumline will perform, and Thunderstorm skydivers will deliver the game ball.
Saturday’s match is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. and tickets can be purchased by visiting ticketmaster.com.