With England’s crucial Four Nations clash against Australia at the London Stadium on Saturday, November 12, the sport’s governing body has reiterated its push to make Rugby League part of the capital’s sporting culture. Plans are in place to bring internationals back to London on a regular basis after the 2017 World Cup.

Jon Dutton, director of projects and people at the RFL said: “London is a critical part of RFL’s strategy, hence why we have hosted two internationals in London over the last two years along with Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final.

“At the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, we hope to stage multiple games across the south, as we did in 2013. It delivered something really special.”

Last November, England RL staged a test match at the London Stadium against fierce rivals New Zealand. The match attracted over 40,000 spectators, with 65% of those being from London and the South East.

Dutton added: “The match against the Kiwis last year, although not the result the team wanted, was a resounding success in terms of engaging London.

England Rugby League return to London on Sunday (2pm) to take on World Cup holders Australia at London Stadium. This will be the first time these two sides have met on home soil since 2013.

Following a narrow defeat to New Zealand in the opening match, England’s Four Nations clash against Australia has more significance.

England fell agonisingly short against New Zealand in Huddersfield last weekend, with Shaun Johnson’s drop goal edging the Kiwis to a 17-16 victory.

As a result, England’s third match of this year’s tournament against Australia will likely be the decider on England’s progress in the 2016 Ladbrokes Four Nations.

Outside of the international landscape, the London Rugby League Foundation works across the capital and is able to invest Sky Try funds into growing the game in London, working closely with three clubs in London – London Broncos, London Skolars and Hemel Stags.

Dutton also said that the RFL worked closely with Newham Borough Council.

“As part of our long term approach, we are working in partnership with Newham and feel that we can combined deliver something really special.

"Newham have been proactive and are supporting us with primary schools, promoting clubs and investing in further games in the London Stadium.”

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