Tri-Nations confirmed for this

Great Britain will get the chance to redeem itself for its Elland Road flop after international rugby league bosses gave the go-ahead for the Tri-Nations Series to be repeated this year.

Andy Farrell's men, hammered 44-4 by world champions Australia in the November decider, will again tackle the Kangaroos in a seven-match tournament in the spring.

Dates and venues have yet to be finalised but the series will once more begin in the southern hemisphere before moving to England, where the Rugby Football League will once more act as hosts.

This time Australia and New Zealand will play both matches against each other before leaving for England, thus reducing their time away from home and appeasing the Kangaroo players who voiced their concerns over the length of the 2004 six-week tour.

The Australians had threatened to pull the plug on this year's tournament unless the format was amended but the green light came yesterday when written confirmation was received from the Kiwis.

"We can now begin the detailed planning and preparation to ensure that the staging of this year's tournament will build on the tremendous success of the inaugural event," said Richard Lewis, executive chairman of the RFL and vice-chairman of the International Federation.

"The 2004 series captured the imagination of the sporting public in both northern and southern hemispheres and proved to be a great vehicle for international rugby league."

Last year's event drew a combined attendance for the seven matches of 182,313 and produced a STG750,000 ($A1.85 million) profit.

Australia is likely to host the Tri-Nations series in 2006 in the run-up to the 2008 World Cup.