RLIF supports NZ claim for Test stars

English clubs have been told they must release New Zealand players Thomas Leuluai and Brent Webb for next week's rugby league Centenary Test with Australia or forfeit their availability at club level.

Super League giants Wigan and Leeds were opposed to releasing their stars for the international clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground as it conflicts with their domestic Challenge Cup knockout event.

But a teleconference on Friday involving the executive of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) has supported New Zealand Rugby League's rights to call upon the Kiwi players for Test duty.

The telephone hook-up between RLIF chairman Colin Love, England's chairman Richard Lewis and RLIF secretary David Gallop on Friday decided not to relax the existing rules regarding international availability and deemed if the players were not released they would be ineligible to play in the corresponding Super League matches.

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