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They came. They saw. They perspired.
They played a Rugby League International inside the NFL Denver Broncos’ Mile High Stadium in sweltering 86-degree heat.
The score saw England win 36-18 against New Zealand. But the important number was 19,320 attendees, or 25.2-percent of stadium capacity listed at 76,125 seats.
Again, in non-All Black scheduled rugby matches in the USA, the 20,000 number (give or take ten-percent) seems to be the upper range of attendance for top rugby venues whether the international Test is union or league.
England trailed 12-0 before two, first half substitutions turned the tide, leaving the Kiwis up 12-10 at the break. The Red Roses dominated the second half, racking up 20 points to New Zealand’s six. It was England’s first match since losing the 2017 Rugby League World Cup final 6-0 in Australia (and won by the Kangaroos for the eleventh time).
Both teams complained about the Denver altitude.
The match gave Americans a glance at Rugby League with its 13-player and six downs style of play. The next Rugby League World Cup will be in England in 2021. Plans for 2025 will see the RLWC take place in Canada and the United States inside pro soccer and pro football stadiums not determined yet.
For 2025, no one can predict what the possible per stadium attendance will be in the USA and Canada to see the lesser known of international rugby World Cups. The RLWC 2017 global television viewership (cumulative) totaled seven million.