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England to face New Zealand in 2010 Four Nations opener

Kevin Sinfield is challenged by two Asutralian during the 2009 Four Nations
England lost to Australia in the 2009 Four Nations final

England will face co-hosts New Zealand at Wellington's Westpac Stadium in the opening match of the 2010 Four Nations.

The seven-match event in Australia and New Zealand starts on 23 October, with the final in Brisbane on 13 November.

Melbourne stages the Australia-England clash on 31 October and England play newcomers Papua New Guinea in Auckland.

That match takes place at a new-look 50,000-capacity Eden Park on 6 November and is part of a double-header as holders Australia play New Zealand.

There are also games in Rotorua and Parramatta.

The inaugural tournament in 2009 culminated in Australia beating England 46-16 at Elland Road.

And Australia Rugby League chairman Colin Love said he was confident the 2010 edition would prove as popular, adding: "The first Four Nations series was an overwhelming success at every level.

"The excitement among English crowds and international television audiences again demonstrated the tremendous appetite that exists for international rugby league.


"The rivalry between Australia, New Zealand and England couldn't be more intense and PNG have proven time and again that they can mix it with anyone on the day.

"This is going to be a fabulous contest that will bring together the best players in the game over three incredible weeks of matches."

Organisers are hoping to set a new crowd record at Eden Park, which has been re-developed to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup, topping the 47,363 for the 1988 World Cup final.

"This double-header will be the biggest rugby league event in New Zealand since 1988 and could become the biggest of all time," said New Zealand Rugby League chief executive Jim Doyle.

"It will be a tremendous moment for the game to have rugby league's major powers all playing at the same ground on the same day.

"It's also a huge honour for our game that we'll actually be giving the new-look Eden Park one of its first major attractions."

2010 Four Nations schedule:

October 23: New Zealand v England, Westpac Stadium, Wellington.

October 24: Australia v Papua New Guinea, Parramatta Stadium.

October 30: New Zealand v Papua New Guinea, International Stadium, Rotorua.

October 31: Australia v England, Melbourne (venue tbc).

November 6: England v Papua New Guinea, Eden Park, Auckland.

November 6: New Zealand v Australia, Eden Park, Auckland.

November 13: Final, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

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see also
England 16-46 Australia
14 Nov 09 |  Rugby League
England deserved better - Smith
14 Nov 09 |  Rugby League

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