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Rugby League icon Martin Offiah tests Olympic Stadium pitch

BACK IN THE GROOVE: Martin Offiah back in action

RUGBY LEAGUE legend Martin Offiah MBE joined amateur players from east London club, Newham Dockers, in the first ever Rugby League training session on the Olympic Stadium to mark the countdown to the upcoming England - New Zealand game.

On Saturday, November 7, the huge year for rugby in England continues as England’s Rugby League team takes on New Zealand, the best in the world at the moment, in the first ever Rugby League game ever to be played in the Olympic Stadium.

Offiah, who enjoyed a successful international Rugby League career for England and also previously played for London’s professional team, London Broncos, said: “It was a privilege to run out on the pitch at the Olympic Stadium with the Newham Dockers. I’m sure when England take on the Kiwis in the Stadium next month, they will be inspired by the way the likes of Mo Farah, Jess Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford beat the best in the world here to win gold at London 2012.

“The historic Rugby League international tops a huge year for the sport in England with the Rugby World Cup showing the stadium is a great new venue for Rugby. I hope bringing world-class Rugby League to east London encourages people to take up the sport and join clubs like the Newham Dockers.”

Offiah was born in east London. He is the third highest Rugby League try scorer of all time with over 500 and jointly holds the record for tries scored in an England game.

Founder of the Newham Dockers, Michael Wheeler, said: “It was an honour for the Newham Dockers to be the first Rugby League players to train on the pitch and with the legendary Martin Offiah. We are really excited that England and New Zealand are coming to east London. Seeing the best of the world in action will inspire people to come along and give this great sport a try.”


LEGEND: Offiah was takes centre stage at the Olympic Stadium in east London

The Newham Dockers were founded in 2012 by two Rugby League enthusiasts with a dream of creating a new Rugby League team based in West Ham, just a stone’s throw from the Olympic Stadium. The team won their first London League Grand Final in 2013 and with the support of a team of volunteers the RFL, Sport England, the Mayor of London and Hard Rock Café they have created senior and junior teams, giving for the first time, young people in east London from under-12 upwards the chance to play Rugby League.

On November 7 (2.30pm) England face New Zealand in the Olympic Stadium in the second of a three match test series which starts at the KC Stadium (Hull) on Sunday 1 November and concludes at the DW Stadium (Wigan) on Saturday 14 November.

Tickets to England - New Zealand at the Olympic Stadium on November 7 cost from £22 for adults and £10 for concessions per game and are available at www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or via the Rugby League ticket hotline on 0844 856 1113

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