Lockyer Advocates Return Of World

Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer has called for the rugby league World Cup to be revived because the code will never develop internationally without a global showcase.

League's version of the World Cup was abandoned after the last one in 2000 in Great Britain delivered embarrassing scorelines, small crowds and no profit.

"The last World Cup we played ? they said it was a two-horse race between Australia and New Zealand," said Lockyer, ahead of Saturday night's trans-Tasman centenary test against the Kiwis in Auckland.

"But you've got to start somewhere. If anyone's going to catch the Aussies it's got to happen through something like that. You've got to build the game around the world."

Lockyer said he had been impressed with the rugby World Cup, although it has also been the stage for high-scoring mismatches since it opened last Friday.

"It has been marketed very well, the rugby World Cup, and we've never really put a lot of effort into that with ours. It's definitely worth having a World Cup," Lockyer told League Correspondent.

A league World Cup has not been contemplated since the dismal event three years ago although the Australian Rugby League is considering one to mark the centenary of the sport in Australia in 2008.

Next year, a Tri-Nations tournament will be played in Britain between Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain as a means of consolidating international rugby league.

"We would like to see a major celebration for the game in this country," ARL chief executive Geoff Carr admitted.

"Lots of ideas have been tossed around, but we haven't decided what it will be as yet. "We're locked into the Tri-Nations until 2006, which means we have a clean slate for 2008. We're serious about doing something to celebrate by having something we haven't seen here before."