The RFL have this morning confirmed an three-match series between England and Australia will take place in 2020, the first Ashes series in seventeen years and the 40th since the term was first coined in 1908. Ominously, next year’s series will also mark a half-century since the Ashes were won by an England or Great Britain side.
The two-time venue for the Challenge Cup semi-final double-header, the University of Bolton Stadium, will host the first match of the series on October 31st before the teams head across the Pennines into Yorkshire as Leeds’ Elland Road hosts the second test. The most eye-catching of the venues, however, is certainly the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London, a venue which was previously mooted as a potential host stadium for Super League’s Magic Weekend.
The third test – between the two finalists at the 2017 World Cup – will be the first time rugby league has been played at the stadium in the capital and promises to produce a game of the quality to match it’s surroundings. It will be the first time the two teams have met since the Australian’s 6-0 triumph in the World Cup final two years ago.
All three matches have been confirmed for broadcast on the BBC and the series will no doubt challenge the English side ahead of the following year’s World Cup. It is expected that Australian Wayne Bennett will be at the helm as, despite his current contract expiring at the end of the current Great Britain tour of the southern hemisphere, he is set to meet with Kevin Sinfield with a view to extending his time in the role.