Hollywood superstar Dwayne Johnson could be the face of rugby league in America as the NRL look to play a game in the USA

Hollywood superstar Dwayne Johnson could be the face of rugby league in America as the NRL look to play a game in the USA

Hollywood star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has become one of the most popular and well-liked people on the planet – and he might soon be the face of rugby league in America.

The NRL is currently investigating the feasibility of playing a competition game in America for the first time ever, and the final decision could be made as soon as this week.

Multi-millionaire businessman Paul Langi Kinikini has pitched for a game, whether it be next year’s season opener or another fixture, to be staged in Utah and has spoken to NRL and ARLC powerbrokers about bringing the game to Salt Lake City

Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” (pictured on an Australian visit in 2004) might be the new face of rugby league in America. Johnson is close friends with multi-millionaire businessman Paul Langi Kinikini who has pitched for a game to be played in Utah – and he wants Johnson to promote it

Kinikini, who has Tongan heritage and is a huge rugby league fan, also happens to have a close relationship with  Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and is keen to use the global phenomenon in the promotion of the sport in the USA.

Johnson is one of the most famous people on the planet, rising to prominence as the ‘most electrifying man in sports entertainment history’ during a wrestling career with the WWE.

The 50-year-old has more than 200 million followers on Instagram and is now one of the highest-paid actors on the planet, with his films grossing more than $US10 billion ($15.6 billion) worldwide.

The decision to play a game in America in 2023 might be made as early as this week

The former college footballer who has twice been named by Time magazine as one of the world’s most influential people has even considered a US presidential run.

His voice promoting rugby league would provide an enormous boost to a sport attempting to make an impact in a potentially lucrative market.

A home and away season clash in America has been on the minds of NRL officials for several years, and the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Manly Sea Eagles initially  expressed interest in the proposed match.

Souths pulled out for logistical reasons recently, but Manly is reportedly still interested and one of the club’s biggest fans is Hollywood star Hugh Jackman.

Hollywood star Hugh Jackman is massive Manly fan and thinks the sport will be a huge hit in the States. Manly has expressed interest in being one of the teams to play overseas

‘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,’ Jackman told the Herald-Sun.

Rugby league doesn’t have a successful history in the States.

A State of Origin match taken to California in 1987 didn’t resonate with the locals. And Test matches in Philadelphia and Denver in recent years have both left the promoter out of pocket.

The reason Kinkini has proposed Utah as a location for the match is due to its large Polynesian populations, which he believes would embrace the game. ‘The Rock’ himself also has Samoan heritage.

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