Crowe Aims to Take RL Stateside

Crowe Aims to Take RL Stateside

Hollywood actor and Rugby League enthusiast Russell Crowe has put forward proposals for an expanded World Club Challenge in Las Vegas.

Wigan will make their first WCC appearance since 1994 when they face St George Illawarra at the DW Stadium in February but chairman Ian Lenagan says he would be delighted to give up home advantage in future if the fixture can be developed along the lines envisaged by Crowe.

"I have in mind that rugby league can create in America the same type of opportunity that the Premier League has in Europe with the UEFA and Champions League competitions," Crowe, the co-owner of South Sydney, told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"The game has a foothold there but much more needs to be done to bring it to the attention of the football-loving public.

"Rugby League is so easily explained to NFL fans because of its defined periods of offence and defence (six tackles compared with four downs), an affinity that rugby union just doesn't have."

Crowe tested the waters when Leeds played Souths in a pre-season match in Jacksonville two years ago but has identified Las Vegas as the ideal venue.

"I point to boxing fixtures as proof of how many people are willing to travel there for a sporting event," he added.

Warriors Chairman Ian Lenagan believes Crowe's idea is worth pursuing, telling The Guardian: "It's an intriguing, exciting idea and exactly the sort of thing we should be doing to tell more people about our wonderful game."

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