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Questions raised about Huddersfield as a test venue by players, fans and commentators

This week we will see England take on Tonga at home of Leeds Rhinos the newly renamed AMT Headingley Stadium. This comes after Test Matches at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium and Huddersfield Giants’ John Smith’s Stadium.

For the third and final test, 10,000 tickets have already been sold but there are fears that the attendance could be disappointing with England having already won the series.

Many have been critical of the attendances of the first two tests which is combined is less than 25,000. This has again raised questions about the stadium selections with some questioning if there is enough intrigue in Huddersfield for an England match to be held there.

One fan said on social media: “Game just doesn’t look great in Huddersfield with Huddersfield or England the ground is massively empty sadly.”

Meanwhile, Sky Sports, Channel 4 and Talksport commentator Mark Wilson said: “Not enough appetite in the town for rugby league at all it seems sadly…such a shame given the history of it all.

“Despite it being a tremendous facility, for some reason, fans do not seem to like going to Huddersfield to watch England. It’s strange really because in Super League they get fantastic away crowds. A shame but time to consider elsewhere.”

More raised this question and suggested the sport is fighting a losing battle: “The birthplace of RL saw just 11,000 for an England international. Almost certainly would have watched New Zealand vs South Africa in rugby union in Huddersfield in TV than watched England in the flesh.”

However, one Huddersfield fan hit back with the well articulated point that Huddersfield perhaps shouldn’t be held to account: “Is Huddersfield to blame or the RFL for not marketing the game properly. Not sure Huddersfield can be held accountable for people not turning up to watch England. Did St Helens get the same the previous week?”

Meanwhile, former Huddersfield halfback Ryan Brierley also raised key questions about the decision saying on X: “Apologise if we did but surely we should have give a load of free tickets to local schools and get the stadium packed out for the boys. Both teams deserve that.

“Stadium choices have been poor in my opinion. England players play at these stadiums every week. Make it exciting for them. Huddersfield is 25k seater so if you think of the random stadiums what would be equivalent, Leicester? Preston? Coventry? Just make it exciting and different for the players.”

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