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Tickets have gone on sale for the first rugby league Ashes series since 2003, with the Kangaroos heading to England for a three-match series in 2020.

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga, who played in a record six Ashes series and went on four Kangaroos tours, has pushed for a return of the fixture since taking over the post in 2016.

The series will mark 50 years since the last time a British team won an Ashes series in 1970, with the Aussies winning 13 straight series from 1973 to 2003.

The first Test will be held at University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday October 31 before heading to Elland Road at Leeds on November 7, with both matches to kick off at 2:30pm local time (Sunday 1:30am AEDT).

The tour then heads to London for the third match, at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Saturday November 14 for a 5:30pm start (Sunday 4:30am AEDT).

The Ashes returns in 2020

"It will be wonderful to see the Kangaroos involved in another Ashes series," said NRL CEO Todd Greenberg.

"International rugby league has been going through an incredible period and an Ashes series will be another highlight.

"The Ashes has such history in our game and to see it return will be very special. It will also build some strong momentum into the 2021 World Cup."

Tyson Frizell is wrapped up by England during the 2017 World Cup final.
Tyson Frizell is wrapped up by England during the 2017 World Cup final. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

The RFL's rugby director Kevin Sinfield, who played in two Ashes series for Great Britain, said English players proved in the narrow 2017 World Cup final loss to Australia that they were "within touching distance" of the world's best.

"The prospect of taking on the touring Kangaroos in 2020, and putting a marker down for 2021 World Cup selection, will give every aspiring England international added incentive next season," Sinfield said.

"These are exciting times for international Rugby League."

Australia won the 2003 series 3-0 but each match was tight, with the biggest margin of victory being six points in the game-three dead rubber. The series is perhaps best remembers for Lions prop Adrian Morley getting sent off just 12 seconds in for a high shot on Robbie Kearns on the opening play.

The 111-year rivalry has provided some of the most memorable moments in rugby league history.

Like the 1990 Ashes that forged a lifelong love of Test football for any Australian rugby league fan born between the mid 1970s and early 1980s.

Great Britain won the first game then an under-pressure Australia found two miracle tries to Cliff Lyons and a last-minute epic to Mal Meninga – from a Ricky Stuart long-range line break – to snatch victory in the second Test and go on to take the series.

Or back in 1950 when future immortal Johnny Raper produced what is regarded by many as the best individual performance in Test history with a hand in his side's first seven tries in the famous 50-12 "Swinton Massacre" in Manchester.

His performance helped the Kangaroos win their first series in England after five decades of trying.

Or the last time Great Britain won a series, when two of the greatest English imports to the Australian game, Sharks legend Cliff Watson and Manly great Mal Reilly, combined with a cavalcade of stars to down a Kangaroos squad boosted by no fewer then three future Immortals in Artie Beetson, Bob Fulton and Graeme Langlands.

After more than a century since the first Ashes contest, and despite Australia's heavy dominance in the second half of that period, the ledger is remarkably even thanks to Britain's dominance in the early years.

Mal Meninga kicks a goal against the Lions during the 1982 Ashes series.
Mal Meninga kicks a goal against the Lions during the 1982 Ashes series. ©NRL Photos

The Kangaroos have a 20-19 edge in series wins and a 59-54 advantage in head-to-head Ashes matches.

Meninga is the most-capped player in Ashes history with 17 starts, showing how rare these chances are. He is also the top scorer in Ashes history with nine tries and 37 goals for 108 points.

Hall of Fame winger Ken Irvine – the greatest try-scorer in Australian rugby league history with 212 for Norths and Manly – has the most tries in Ashes history with 12 from nine games.


To register your interest in travel packages for the Ashes, visit NRL Travel


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