Kiwis to play test against England in Dunedin

Last updated 05:00 10/04/2014
Frank Pritchard
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SOUTH BOUND: Kiwi stars such as Frank Pritchard will be heading to Dunedin to play Britain.

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The Kiwis are set to take on England in a Four Nations rugby league test in Dunedin on November 8.

The Dunedin indoor stadium's major coup is expected to be confirmed in the coming days, along with the rest of the Four Nations schedule. The tournament will also include the Australia and Fiji teams.

The fixture in Dunedin is understood to have been driven by commercial reasons but there is also a view the November 8 game would be a way to promote rugby league outside Auckland, with the city already having a a lot of high-profile league games.

Whangarei is also tipped to be included in the Four Nations schedule.

There is a prospect the Kiwi and England teams could spend the week in Dunedin leading up to the test match to train and conduct promotional activities.

The promotions could also potentially include surrounding areas such as Southland.

Dunedin's indoor stadium has hosted two relatively high-profile league games since it was officially opened in 2011.

The Auckland-based Warriors have played two NRL pre-season matches at the venue with the first, against the Brisbane Broncos last year, attracting 15,000, This years fixture was attended by just 6000.

With Super Rugby finished, and not a lot else to rival the Kiwis-England game for spectator interest in November, a good crowd would be expected in Dunedin.

Meanwhile, Andrew McFadden has stepped down from his post as Kiwis assistant coach just days after being appointed.

McFadden has resigned after this week being appointed head coach at the Warriors.

Former Warriors coach Tony Iro, New Zealand rugby league's high performance manager, said McFadden would make "a good fist of the job" after the Australian was quickly installed to replace Matthew Elliott.

Iro said McFadden was capable of handling the pressures of the demanding NRL position.

"I'd imagine Andrew will see this as a great opportunity, no matter how tough the situation is," he said.

"It's always tough when you've been working with someone and all of a sudden that gets turned on its head. But he's a pretty level-headed guy Andrew, and I'm pretty sure he will put his best foot forward. As Andrew said, they are in short supply, head coaching jobs, and I'm sure he'll make a good fist of it."

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- Fairfax Media

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