RL’s bold bid to help build us more of a global audience was as far as I’m concerned a resounding success.

And not because England convincingly beat New Zealand!

It was a ground-breaking occasion for the lads, who showed great resilience and patience to come back from 12-0 down to lift the International Challenge Trophy36-18.

Impressive numbers on the scoreboard, but the 19,320 people who turned in Denver for their first taste of RL! Of course, we always want more, but hopefully this gives us a great footing for this annual match in the build-up to the 2025 USA RL World Cup.

It was great to see the passion to play this fixture by the England players, especially the stance taken by the NRL based players, Graham, Burgess & co. They understand how important a strong international competition is. Speaking of Jammer, congratulations to the big man on his 40th England cap and being the first to earn the new ‘Golden Lion’ on his jersey.

While giving the wraps, what a debut for Tommy Makinson! A thoroughly deserved selection, and he certainly justified Wayne Bennett’s faith in him. He had an outstanding game, crossing for his first England try as well. Fellow debutant Jake Connor also made a big impression on his first England outing. Luke Thompson, unfortunately missed out, but no doubt he will be a regular starting international prop for years to come.

It is vitally important for our sport to grow both domestically but also globally, if we are to continue to try and attract new fans and blue chip sponsors.

It was great to see new England partners Dacia involvement. I have had the pleasure of working with Dacia for the past five years since their inception into the world of RL, and what a pleasure it has been.

Back to the Betfred Super League matters, it is great to hear Alex Walmsley’s recovery from neck surgery is going to plan, and hasn’t ruled out a return to playing before expected.

What a boost to an already confident and strong Saints side that would be. The big man has commented on his comeback target – playing in the Challenge Cup semi-final against Catalan Dragons on August 5 so watch this space.

Friday sees the visit of Wakefield and their giant pack.

Trinity come into the game against Saints on the back of a 44-22 triumph over Betfred Super League bottom club Widnes.

If the heroes of Denver can shake off their jetlag, I expect Saints to beat Wakefield by 10 points or more (check out all the odds with Super League title sponsors Betfred).