England v New Zealand Denver Test: BBC Two to show game live on 23 June

England prop Tom Burgess
England prop Tom Burgess tests the New Zealand defence
England v New Zealand
Venue: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver Date: Saturday, 23 June Kick-off: 21:10 BST Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Radio 5 live and live text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.

England's mid-season Test match against New Zealand in the United States on Saturday, 23 June will be broadcast live on BBC Two.

The game, staged at the Sports Authority Field Stadium in Denver, Colorado, will kick-off just after the 21:00 BST broadcast start time.

It is the first of four games between the two nations in 2018, with the Kiwis in England for three autumn Tests.

Hull hosts the first, with further matches at Liverpool and Leeds.

"The Denver Test between England and New Zealand is a momentous occasion for rugby league as the first international Test match to be staged in North America for over 18 years," said the Rugby Football League's interim chief executive Ralph Rimmer.

"We're delighted that the BBC have chosen to broadcast the game live so supporters in the UK will be able to tune in."

Last year's Pacific Test against Samoa in Sydney was not shown on television, as the Rugby Football League trialled a subscription streaming service for that fixture.

Familiar faces

The Test will be the first outing for the Kiwis under new head coach Michael Maguire, after last year's World Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Fiji cost David Kidwell his job.

Maguire was a National Rugby League premiership-winning boss - with England's Sam, George and Tom Burgess - at South Sydney Rabbitohs, and worked with Sean O'Loughlin, Liam Farrell and Sam Tomkins in a successful stint at Wigan.

New Zealand's last Test tour of England ended in a 2-1 defeat, as Steve McNamara's spell as England head coach ended with a convincing series-clinching win against the Kiwis at Wigan.

Michael Maguire celebrates with Sam Tomkins
Michael Maguire (left) celebrates with Sam Tomkins after Wigan's 2011 Challenge Cup success

England's 2018 Test schedule

  • England v New Zealand (Sports Authority Field, Denver) - Saturday, 23 June, 21:10 BST
  • England v New Zealand (KCOM Stadium, Hull) - Saturday, 27 October, 14:30 BST
  • England v New Zealand (Anfield, Liverpool) - Saturday, 3 November, 17:30 BST
  • England v New Zealand (Elland Road, Leeds) - Sunday, 11 November, 15:15 BST

Rugby league in the USA?

There have been several attempts to grow the game in the United States, in the shape of exhibition games.

New South Wales and Queensland added a fourth game to the 1987 State of Origin series which was held in California, and two years later Warrington and Wigan played in Milwaukee while more recently there was a fixture between South Sydney Rabbitohs and Leeds Rhinos in Jacksonville, Florida in 2008.

In addition there is a US league system, with teams in Boston, New York and Jacksonville among the 14 member clubs.

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