Hull FC to take on Wigan Down Under in historic fixture

Masi Matonga breaks in to the arms of Lewis Tierney and Taulima Tautai. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Masi Matonga breaks in to the arms of Lewis Tierney and Taulima Tautai. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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WIGAN WARRIORS and Hull FC will make history by taking a Super League game to Australia.

The Warriors, who are the reigning champions, and Hull will play each other in Wollongong, Sydney, on Saturday, February 10.

The ground-breaking match will be one game into the 2018 Super League season and become the first league fixture to be held outside Europe.

The clubs will also play fixtures against South Sydney and St George Illawarra as part of their three-match tour.

Hull will take on the Dragons, with Wigan, who are the reigning world club champions, meeting the Rabbitohs in a double-header at the ANZ Stadium, Sydney, on Saturday, February 17.

The tour, which has been sanctioned by the Rugby Football League, will not affect the World Club Series which is due to be held in the UK at the end of February. If either club qualify by winning the Grand Final, they will take their place in the series.

Roger Draper, RFL chief commercial officer and Super League executive director, said: “Wigan Warriors have have worked extremely hard in partnership with the New South Wales Government to create history for our game by hosting what will be the first-ever game outside of Europe while engaging an international fanbase, showcasing the vital role sport plays in the global economy and growing the Betfred Super League brand.”

Hull are keen to raise the club’s profile, chairman Adam Pearson saying: “This is a landmark occasion for the sport of rugby league and an opportunity for Hull FC to play our part in making Super League history.”

Wigan are no strangers to Australia, having twice played in the World Club Challenge down under, and they will be the home side in Sydney.

Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan said: “This announcement is one of the most innovative and exciting in the history of Wigan Rugby League Club.

“Director Kris Radlinksi, together with commercial sales manager Dan Burton, has been in negotiations with key stakeholders both in Australia and the UK over the last 12 months, delicately pulling together this complex agreement.”