posted on Jan, 20 2005 @ 04:54 PM
International rugby league bosses have given the green light for the 2005 Tri-Nations Series but in a slightly amended format. No dates have been
finalised but the tournament will once more begin in the southern hemisphere before moving to Britain, where the Rugby Football League will once more
act as hosts.
A repeat event was assured following the bumper success of the 2004 tournament, which drew a combined attendance for the seven matches of 182,313 and
produced a 750,000 profit. But Australia held back their final approval after taking into account the views of Test players and their National Rugby
League clubs who feared player burn-out, and warned that the 2005 tournament would not take place under the same format.
As part of a compromise agreement, both matches between Australia and New Zealand will now take place Down Under to cut down on the amount of
"We have today received the required confirmation that the format of the 2005 Tri-Nations Series is acceptable to all three parties," said Richard
Lewis, executive chairman of the RFL who is also vice-chairman of the International Federation.
"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.
"The 2004 Series captured the imagination of the sporting public in the northern and southern hemispheres and proved to be a great vehicle for
international rugby league."
Australia are likely to host the next-but-one Tri-Nations Series in 2006 in the run-up to the 2008 World Cup.