Tri - Series and World Cup (2008)
Endorsed by RLIF

A 2008 World Cup and 2004 Tri-Series involving Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand has been confirmed by the Rugby League International Federation in Sydney .

ARL chief executive Geoff Carr today said it was "still early days" on World Cup details but promised a "festival of football" as part of the southern hemisphere's rugby league centenary celebrations.

"We've had positive feedback on holding a schoolboy world cup, a varsity world cup, a combined services world cup and at the top, the international elite level world cup," Carr said.

Carr said the international talent displayed at last weekend's World Sevens tournament at Aussie Stadium boded well for the 2008 World Cup.

"You look at the number of Polynesian players at the top level already in the game ... so teams like Tonga, Samoa and Fiji by 2008 will be more than competitive.

"PNG is strengthening - add that to the already established nations and we have a creditable elite competition to show."

PNG and Tonga were the surprise packets of the World Sevens, winning their respective pools before bowing out in tight quarterfinal losses.

PNG's Ricky Sibia was the second-highest pointscorer of the Sevens with 37 points, just three behind Parramatta's Luke Burt.

Maxime Greseque of France finished joint third with Cronulla's Nathan Merritt with 34 points. And Wests Tigers NRL coach Tim Sheens has offered pre-season training and trial matches to Evgeny Bojoukov and Sergey Dobrynine after they starred for Russia at the World Sevens.

Carr said the seven game Tri-Series would be held at the end of the NRL season with the first round held in New Zealand and the remainder completed in the UK.

Each nation will play each other twice with the final played in England.

"Included in the plans is a United States visit by the Kangaroos to assist the growing American competition being conducted by former St George first grader David Nui," he said.

"It has also been agreed that the Tri-Series nations will conduct a separate tournament for developing players in New Zealand at the end of 2004 season."

Carr said the ARL had received an invitation to play the US as part of the recent Kangaroo tour but was "impossible to factor in" due to late notice.

He said plans for a world youth championship were also unveiled today with the Russian Rugby League confirming that the Moscow City Council was keen to host the event and to assist financially.

Meanwhile, ARL chairman Colin Love was today re-elected unopposed as the RLIF chairman while England's Rugby Football League and Super League executive chairman Richard Lewis was elected unopposed as vice-chairman.

He replaced Maurice Lindsay who was elected as a RLIF life member and did not seek reappointment as RLIF vice-chairman.

New Zealand's Selwyn Pearson was appointed to the RLIF executive, replacing France's Jean-Paul Ferre who did not seek re-election.

NRL chief executive David Gallop was re-elected as RLIF secretary and the fourth member of the RLIF executive unopposed.