Preparations for the Kiwis’ ground-breaking Test against England in Denver are coming together nicely, New Zealand Rugby League confirms.
The RLIF sanctioned match scheduled to be held on 23 June at Mile High Stadium will bring international rugby league to North America for the first time. With planning stages of the fixture in full-swing, NZRL can confirm the players’ insurance policy was also locked in earlier this week.
Players selected to represent their country while in Denver will continue to receive benefits that mirror the current NRL representative, State of Origin and ANZAC Test insurance policies in place. They will also receive the extra insurance required for playing in the United States.
In addition to medical concerns being allayed by Doctor, Greg Macleod, the confirmation of the insurance policy was another essential part of the planning stages that ensures the players will be well looked after.
Ample due diligence and player welfare is always at the forefront of planning for Tests in any part of the world and Kiwis Manager Nadene Conlon says the Test in Denver is no different.
“There’s always a lot of preparation that goes into any fixture the Kiwis play in, whether it’s a Test or a tour, and travelling overseas, regardless of where it is means the same rigorous processes are undertaken,” Conlon says.
“Of course playing in Denver brings with it some unique considerations but having experts on board like Greg Macleod allows us to be prepared in the best possible manner,” she says.
West Tigers co-captain Elijah Taylor and Warriors prop Adam Blair are a couple of the Kiwi eligible players who say excitement for the Test in Denver is brewing among the player networks.
“Pulling on the Kiwis jersey is always an honour and privilege – it’s the pinnacle for any New Zealand Rugby League player,”
“Any opportunity I get I’ll grab with both hands and I’m 100 percent committed to every Kiwi game wherever it’s played,”
“I understand the NRL clubs have concerns about playing in Denver, so it’s great to see the player insurance has been sorted for the Test, along with Doctor Macleod’s reassuring words that the conditions over there don’t increase our chances of injury,”
“In the camps I’ve been a part of with the Kiwis, we’ve been well looked after and I expect the Test in Denver will be no different,”
“If the Kiwis have future games in the Pacific Islands or Europe, I will be just as committed to making the Kiwis squad if given the privilege to play for my country,” Kiwi #770 Taylor says.
Kiwi #732 and RLPA Director Adam Blair adds, “everything looks like it’s falling into place and I’m excited not only for the international game but for NZRL as this is a great opportunity to show case our game in America.”
Applications for Kiwis head coach close later this afternoon when the high-powered coach selection panel will proceed to the next stage of the selection process.