NRL Grand Finalists Canberra Raiders are set to play a game in the UK next season – whether they win the NRL or not.
The Raiders will come up against Sydney Roosters in the NRL Grand Final this Sunday in the aim of winning their first Premiership title in 25 years.
With English players John Bateman, Elliott Whitehead, Josh Hodgson and Ryan Sutton already on their roster and George Williams joining next year, the club are now looking to capitalise on their new-found popularity in the UK.
Should they win this Sunday, the Raiders will likely be heading over to England to compete in the World Club Challenge against the Super League champions, which would be expected to attract the biggest crowd for the fixture since 54,220 fans watched Wigan beat Brisbane in 1994.
Even if they aren’t successful, though, the club haven’t ruled out a trip to the Northern Hemisphere in pre-season and are reportedly lining up a fixture against Wigan, which would see Williams come up against his former club.
Details won’t, however, be finalised until the conclusion of both the NRL and Super League campaigns.
This all comes as part of Canberra’s aim to launch a UK membership package for their fans overseas – something which they are understood to have already been in talks with Sky Sports about.
In an interview with NRL.com, Raiders chief executive Don Furner said: “We are looking to launch an advertising package in England and we will do that later in the year, particularly if we do play a game there.
“We will launch it when we start to announce the details of that.”