19 mins ago - 1 Likes
Plans Being Made for 2008 World
Englishman Maurice Lindsay suggested a 2008 World Cup in Australia "could be the biggest event in rugby league history".
The game's powerbrokers will give the go - ahead for the tournament at the Rugby League International Federation's board meeting next Monday in Sydney.
Full details are still to be worked out, with RLIF chairman Colin Love indicating the preference would be a 10-team event with a secondary emerging nations' competition.
Love is keen for the World Cup to be held in 2008 to coincide with the league's centenary year in Australia.
"It would also give us more lead time, but I don't want to pre-empt that," Love said at the launch of this weekend's World Sevens at Aussie Stadium.
The reintroduction of a regular World Cup would place rugby league back in line with rival sports cricket and rugby union.
There is a buzz in league circles that the game at international level was on the threshold of a return to its glory days.
But Love said the success of the rugby union World Cup had nothing to do with league's decision to once again go global.
"We're just concentrating on our own game," he said.
"It's just a natural progression for us.
"That's why we want to develop the game in some of these newer (playing) nations and do what we can to try to assist them.
"The Russians, for example, have really come on in great bounds. I think there's huge potential there and Samoa and some of the other nations as well.
"We can't drop the ball now. I'm pleased with the way our game's going as long as we keep the momentum going."
Lindsay said Australia had proven to be the premier sporting host in the world.
"It's ahead of America, it's ahead of England," Lindsay said.
"You've demonstrated that with a great efficiency, great support from Australians with both the Olympics and the (Rugby) World Cup.
"Your internationals that are run here and the grand finals and the State of Origins are all brilliantly run.
"There's nothing happening in Australia between now and potentially the rugby league World Cup, which is expected to be finalised this week.
"That could be the biggest event in rugby league history." Lindsay described the 2000 World Cup in Britain as "badly run by the English, poorly constructed", and advised his Australian counterparts to learn from the mistakes.
"The classic mistake was that they tried to have 29 games at 27 venues," Lindsay said.
"It was logistically impossible and it also stretched the public's attention and probably their pocket.
"My own view is that it doesn't have to be played in one city or even two cities. I think you should show it to the whole nation the same way as the rugby union World Cup was.
"But I think we should avoid that grand dream. That was a bit too romantic and not business-like."
A tri-nation series involving Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain has also been on the agenda for October and November this year.
It will feature home and away matches and a final in England.