Super League star questions “poor” stadium selections for England games

Yesterday England defeated Tonga to claim the series at Huddersfield Giants’ John Smith’s Stadium meaning next weekend’s match at the home of Leeds Rhinos could see England secure a statement series whitewash.

England played the conditions masterfully at the John Smith’s on Saturday winning the three try game 14-4 with two tries to one as Matty Ashton scored a brace of tries.

It was an excellent wet weather display from England but the weather perhaps didn’t only impact the performance but also impacted the attendance dissuading fans from attending the game.

The game had sold over 10,000 tickets by Wednesday and it seemed to be tracking for more but the ticket sales seemingly stalled perhaps due in part to the weather.

Nonetheless, Super League star Ryan Brierley of the Salford Red Devils who is a Scotland international spoke on social media calling on tickets to be given away to local schools.

Brierley said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that both sides deserved better: “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.”

Brierley went on to question the selection of the stadiums all of which were Super League stadiums and the homes of St Helens, Huddersfield Giants and Leeds Rhinos.

Brierley felt it would be better to take the games into new areas something the World Cup touched upon last year with games in London and Newcastle. Ironically both cities that have seen teams pull out of League One.

The Salford fullback suggested places like Leicester, Preston and Coventry instead to compare Huddersfield in terms of capacity.

He said on X: “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.”