Tri-Nations and World Cup confirmed
for Down Under

Rugby League?s International Federation on Monday confirmed next year?s Gillette Tri-Nations Series will be held in the southern hemisphere.

Australia, who are expected to act as principal hosts, also re-confirmed their commitment to staging the 2008 World Cup, which will provide the centre-point for the game?s centenary celebrations Down Under.

This year?s Tri-Series is unlikely to reproduce the ?750,000 profits generated a year ago following Great Britain?s failure to reach Saturday?s final but it has been hailed as "a great success" by Colin Love, who is chairman of both the Australia Rugby League and the International Federation (RLIF).

A meeting of the RLIF in Leeds was opened on Monday and adjourned until Friday to enable two working parties to formulate details.

A statement said: "All member nations wish to publicly confirm that the 2006 Tri-Nations Tournament and 2008 Rugby League World Cup will be staged in the southern hemisphere as per previous announcements.

"Two working groups made up of Federation members have been created to progress matters relating to each of the above competitions and the RLIF intends to make a further announcement about both of these when it reconvenes on Friday."

The announcement will be welcomed by players and supporters, who can now prepare for Britain?s first "tour" of Australia for 14 years. One-off Tests have been held in Brisbane and Sydney but the last official tour was in 1992.

It is likely that New Zealand, who staged three of the four matches in the 1999 Tri-Nations Series including the final, will co-host next year?s tournament.

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Thanks to for this report.