NRL to take competition games to US as soon as 2019

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The NRL will take a competition game to the US as early as 2019, in a move CEO Todd Greenberg says was first slated for this season.

"Effectively we ran out of time last year. Hopefully, with more time, we can make that happen," Greenberg told Fairfax Media.

The US will host the 2025 Rugby League World Cup and in the lead-up there will be a concerted effort to introduce top-level live rugby league action to the nation. The process begins this year with England playing New Zealand in a Test match at Denver's Sports Authority Field on June 23.

The NRL is keen to play its part by ensuring that the clubs make their players available for that Test and by scheduling competition games on US soil over the next few seasons.

"We're in discussions about that now,'' Greenberg said.

"The destinations in North America are available in a good broadcast timeslot, so that's what we're looking at. The ball is in our court in regards to scheduling and player workload. We're actively working on that now for 2019 and 2020. Next year we could have teams playing for points in America.''

NRL clubs have already expressed their concerns about player welfare, with Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart particularly vocal.

Stuart didn't hold back when asked for his thoughts on the Denver Test match.

"When you've got promoters running your scheduling in regards to international games, the question should be asked how much is the promoter making out of all this?" Stuart said.

"I hear every year player welfare is important and, yet again, we're not thinking about the player.

"If we're going to be fair dinkum about welfare, be fair dinkum."

Despite Stuart's displeasure at the scheduling, the Raiders will release their players if they are selected.