Hollywood megastar Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson could be the face of rugby league in America
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Hollywood megastar Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has been tipped to be the face of rugby league in the United States.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the NRL is looking into the possibility of taking a competition fixture to America for the first time ever next season.
The league are looking to broaden the popularity of the sport overseas and a decision on a potential international location could be made as early as this week.
It is believed American businessman Paul Langi Kinikini had pitched for a game next season to be played in Utah.
Kinikini is of Tongan heritage and is a huge fan of the league.
He is also a strong personal friend of the one and only Dwayne Johnson and would be keen on using The Rock to help promote the sport in the country.
Shooting to fame in the WWE, Johnson is one of the biggest megastars in Hollywood and beyond.
The 50-year-old has more than 200 million followers on Instagram and is one of the highest-paid actors in the world.
One of the most recognisable faces on the planet, he would add a huge boost in getting eyes on NRL over in America.
And we all know he can pull off one hell of an introduction, just as he did at the NFL Super Bowl.
If The Rock wasn’t enough, the former WWE champion could potentially be joined by the likes of fellow acting star Hugh Jackman in promoting the sport in the United States.
Manly is one of the teams earmarked for the potential international fixture, and of course, Jackman resides as one of their biggest supporters.
Jackman told the Herald back in April: “Bring it on! Would love for it to happen. They would love the great game of rugby league here in the US I’m sure.”
So if Kinikini’s bid was successful he could likely look to two of the biggest names in the world to help build the match.
Utah also has a large Polynesian population, one that Kinikini believes would welcome the roughness of rugby league with open arms.
Rugby league has never really taken off in the United States.
Despite a great World Cup campaign in 2013 and frequent Leeds Rhinos friendlies in the country, it never reached its full potential.
The State of Origin even had a game in California back in 1987, although, that too didn’t resonate with the audience.