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Showtime: NRL stars vow to entertain in Vegas

Nathan Cleary has vowed to put on a show for American audiences after the Panthers were confirmed as one of four NRL teams to play in Las Vegas in a bigger and bolder opening to the 2025 season.

Penrith, who are aiming to win a fourth consecutive grand final, will take on the Sharks in a derby between the 1967 established clubs, while the Warriors will add to the international flavour at Allegiant Stadium when they meet the Raiders.

Super League rivals Wigan and Warrington will also play for competition points, while there will be an historic women’s Test between the Jillaroos and England in the March 1 quadruple header.

“It’s mad. I am very excited about the prospect of taking our product overseas,” Cleary said.

A festival of Rugby League returns to Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas in 2025. Bigger, Bolder, and Better.

“Seeing the spectacle that it was earlier in the year and being able to be a part of that will be pretty amazing and something we are all looking forward to.

“We have a duty to put on a good spectacle for our game because I honestly believe the general product of rugby league is the best of any sport.

"Being able to show that to a new audience is exciting and hopefully, we can do our sport proud.”

Sharks wing sensation Sione Katoa said the Cronulla players were also looking forward to playing at Allegiant Stadium, which hosted an historic double-header involving the Roosters, Broncos, Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs.

“Me and the boys are excited to go to Vegas next year, taking our Sharks brand over to America and playing on a big stage there,” Katoa said.

“It will be a good challenge to play Penrith in Vegas, it looked like fun to play in front of the crowd and I think we will have a lot of support there so it is going to be exciting.”

Raiders forward Joey Tapine and Warriors playmaker Luke Metcalf also believe they will have strong support in Las Vegas for their match, which is second on the bill after the Wigan-Warrington clash.

Raiders forward Joey Tapine is looking forward to playing in Las Vegas.
Raiders forward Joey Tapine is looking forward to playing in Las Vegas. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

Canberra boast players from England, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, while they have the same nickname as the Las Vegas Raiders, who play out of Allegiant Stadium.

“The Raiders have fans all over the world, we get messages from Raiders fans who live in America, so it will be awesome to have the Viking Clap in Vegas,” Tapine said.

“I was so jealous last year, the fan day looked hectic. I am looking forward to that and promoting it some more.

“Hopefully some fans come over from England as well, because we have got some good support in England and we have a huge a Kiwi contingent at the Raiders too.”

Abdo announces a Bigger, Bolder, and Better Festival of Rugby League in Las Vegas for 2025

The Warriors are on track to become the world's first professional rugby league team to sell out every home game in a season and the New Zealand-based club also has strong support at matches in Australia.

In addition, there is a large Kiwi expat community in North America who would be expected to get behind the team in Las Vegas.

"I expect there will be a lot of Warriors fans, I think that will be the biggest supporter group going over there," Metcalf said.

"We have sold out every home game this year so far so I could imagine the buzz in Round 1 would be huge and we have the support of the whole nation.

"I am pretty sure there is a big Polynesian community in Utah so it would be cool if they came down as well to add some extra numbers. The ultimate goal is to spread the game in the US so the more local fans the better."



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Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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