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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
World Cup moved to end of season
Australia won the last Rugby League World Cup in 2000
Australia won the last Rugby League World Cup in 2000
The 2008 Rugby League World Cup in Australia has been switched to the end of the season and will now be held in October and November.

It had been planned for the start of the 2008 season but has been moved following pressure from Australia's National Rugby League (NRL) clubs.

They were worried about injured players missing the start of their tournament.

"An end-of-year World Cup is the best all-round answer," said International Federation chairman Colin Love.

"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."

The Rugby Football League (RFL) had made plans to put back the start of the Super League campaign by six weeks to accommodate the World Cup in February and March.

But the tournament will now mark the end of a season-long celebration of the game's centenary in Australia.

The competition will feature 10 teams, with England, Australia, New Zealand, France and Papua New Guinea given automatic places.

Five more teams will have to qualify, while officials are likely to give the go-ahead for a special match between Maori and Aboriginal teams to recognise their contribution to rugby league.

The decision was announced at a meeting of the International Federation in Brisbane on Thursday.

Love was returned for the next two years as chairman, with RFL executive chairman Richard Lewis elected for two more years as his deputy.

NRL clubs oppose World Cup timing
07 Dec 05 |  Rugby League

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