Internationals World Cup 2008

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Courtesy of BBC

The Rugby League International Federation have confirmed that the 2008 World Cup will be played at the end of the game’s Centenary year - with planning under way for the tournament to be a glittering conclusion to a season-long celebration.

At a meeting of the RLIF Board at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium the event was signed off on the Cup as an October/November season’s-end event in Australasia.

RLIF Chairman Colin Love said: “Careful consideration has been given in recent weeks to all aspects of the timing of the Cup.

"We reached the conclusion that an end-of-year World Cup is the best all-round answer. All of us in the international league community will make a commitment to ensuring that the 2008 Cup will be a wonderful finale to rugby league’s most important year.â€Â

The Australian Rugby League will host a 10-country World Cup in ’08 - comprising the five `foundation’ teams (England, Australia, New Zealand, France and Papua New Guinea) - plus the five countries which make it through from hotly contested qualifying group tournaments.

Thursday’s 11-nations Board meeting received a submission, passionately presented by famed NZ footballing brothers Howie and Kevin Tamati, setting out the case for a Maori team be invited to ‘come and play’ as part of the 2008 birthday celebration.

Under consideration is a match between Maori and Aboriginal teams as a special feature of the season - recognising both for their contribution to Rugby League.

"The contribution of Maori and Aboriginal footballers to our game has been wonderful and is widely known," said Colin Love.

"What is not so well known is that the arrival in Sydney in 1908 of what turned out to be a hugely successful Maori team made a notable contribution to the game getting the footing here that it needed.â€Â

In other news from the RLIF meeting:

1) Colin Love was returned for the next two years as Board chairman, Richard Lewis for two years as deputy chairman, David Gallop for two years as Board secretary - and New Zealand’s Selwyn Bennett was voted in as a member of the Executive, replacing countryman Selwyn Pearson who is stepping down.

2) It was decided unanimously that rugby league would press on with the application for the game to become a member of the high-level world sports’ body GAISF (General Association of Sports Federations), an initiative which began at the recent GAISF assembly in South Korea.

"The importance of membership of GAISF was fully accepted by members," said RLIF deputy chairman Richard Lewis. "The fact is that a successful campaign for membership will be a wonderful boost for our emerging nations, giving them heightened credibility and the chance for official government support."

A report presented by the ARL’s Tas Baitieri recorded increased participation rates for the game in a number of countries - with Tonga and France leading the way with spectacular gains, fuelled by coverage of NRL (Tonga) and Super League (France) television games.

"The trends in the figures presented today were enormously heartening," said Colin Love. "The forthcoming World Cup is undoubtedly playing its part too in the upsurge.â€Â

3) The meeting accepted a proposal from France to endorse wheelchair Rugby League.

Wouldn't that Maori vs Aboriginal game be a cracker if everyone made themselve's available!, to be honest i think Aboriginal mite win, they've got about 6 fullbacks to choose from, we've got......none!


I wouldn't have wanted the Maori team to get into the World Cup in 08 anyway. I mean I'm Maori and proud of it but I think that for the game to develop globally, that other spot needs to be left to another developing nation. Plus 2 New Zealand teams in there isn't fair.

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