Performances from Kiwi recording stars Dave Dallas and Tahuna Breaks will set the stage for the NZ Kiwis and Australia at Saturday's Four Nations rugby league final at Wellington's Westpac Stadium.
While the sporting archrivals are set for a rematch of last year's World Cup final in the main feature, tournament organisers have also secured a couple of musical heavy hitters to get the crowd pumped up for the main event.
Super League Coach of the Year Daryl Powell is pleased with the way England performed against Samoa and believes that the game against Australia in Melbourne on Sunday will be another close encounter.
The Castleford Tigers coach is looking for another big performance from England’s forwards as they take on a much lighter Australian pack who are out to impress their coach Tim Sheens and avoid failing to reach a major final for the first time since 1954.
England coach Steve McNamara has told the players who played in Rugby League World Cup 2013 that they have the ability to determine whether they will be involved in this year’s Four Nations tournament.
McNamara has also thrown down the gauntlet to every English player in the First Utility Super League to play their way into his plans for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand this autumn, details of which were announced today (Thursday).
2014 RUGBY LEAGUE FOUR-NATIONS OVERVIEW
Host Nations - Australia and New Zealand
Total Attendance - 144,786
Average Crowd - 20,684
Number of Teams - 4
2014 Four-Nations Snapshot - The 2014 Four-Nations is the 4th instalment of the highly successful rugby league competition. With the ongoing improvement of 2nd tier nations, and the 2013 Rugby League World Cup being hosted in the UK. The Four-Nations took take place in Australia and New Zealand in October / November 2014 with the Final being held in Wellington, New Zealand.
Supporters are being encouraged to ensure the 2014 Four Nations is the best-attended Four Nations ever with a strong showing in the final between New Zealand and Australia in Wellington on Saturday night.
This year’s tournament, which will conclude with the final at Westpac Stadium, can already lay claim to the highest aggregate attendance for the group stages. The six pool matches involving New Zealand, Australia, England and Samoa recorded an aggregate attendance of 119,603, beating the previous record of 101,207 in 2010.
By John Davidson, Date: 6/11/14
New Zealand will be aiming for a hat-trick of Four Nations wins and England, desperate for a place in the final, when the two nations meet on Saturday.
New Zealand has seen off Australia and Samoa in the past two weeks and could still advance to the decider with a draw or a close loss. England has one victory from two games, over Samoa, but if they defeat the Kiwis by 10 points or more they will earn a spot in the final.
Australia, England, New Zealand and Samoa have released their team line-ups for Week 2 of the 2014 Rugby League Four Nations.
England will be keen to knock Australia out of final contention, while Samoa will be looking to notch up their first win. The 2nd week of the 4 Nations tournament is set to be a cracker.
Well it’s amazing what can happen in a week of rugby league. We just witnessed one of the all-time classic rugby league games where in the 1st Semi-Final New Zealand pulled a rabbit out of their hat with 20 seconds on the clock and pulled the World Cup rug out from under the English rugby league team. The game will be talked about for years to come.
Bt John Davidson, Date:16/11/14
New Zealand has won the 2014 Four Nations 22-18 after an intense and absorbing battle at Wellington Stadium.
The Kiwis got home by four points but had to see off a late Australian fightback, with a crucial forward pass call in the dieing seconds stopping the Kangaroos in their tracks.
By John Davidson, Date: 22/10/14
England will face a tough test against an under-fire Samoa in the opening match of the 2014 Four Nations at Suncorp Stadium.
The northern hemisphere nation will meet a Samoan side in Brisbane that is still reeling from a nightclub incident several days ago. Several Samoan players were involved in a brawl outside a Queensland bar in the early hours of Sunday morning.