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4 days ago
Britain are pushing for a return of the rugby league World Cup in 2008 to replace the Tri-Nations tournament. The possibility of holding the event will be discussed when the International Federation meets in Sydney on 26 January.
After a financially disastrous World Cup in 2000, organisers reverted to a series involving Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
But the success of rugby union's World Cup may provoke a change of format.
Rugby union is experiencing a massive boost in popularity, with unprecedented interest at junior level and the Zurich Premiership clubs benefiting from record attendances.
The Rugby Football League's executive chairman Richard Lewis believes league can also benefit.
"I think there is every reason to suppose we will experience greater interest in the sport," he said.
Lewis wants to capitalise on the increased interest by convincing a reluctant southern hemisphere of the value of a World Cup.
"I would have thought there would be recognition in the southern hemisphere of what a successful World Cup can achieve," he said.
And he is pushing to get the go ahead for the tournament.
"We expect there to be a World Cup and that's why we're playing our part in building up the international game with the European Nations Cup," he said.
Meanwhile, the League will take their time to find a new Great Britain coach and Lewis has hinted that David Waite may remain in the job until the end of the 2004 Tri-Nations Series.
"There is no huge rush because there aren't any matches until October and also because David is performance director for the RFL anyway," he said.
"David and I have chatted through a few ideas but we haven't made any decision yet as to what the outcome might be."