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Australia make new World Cup bid

Darren Lockyer with the World Cup
Darren Lockyer hopes to keep a firm grip on the World Cup this weekend

Australia have announced they will take on England for the right to host the next World Cup in 2013.

International chiefs have also confirmed that France will join England, Australia and New Zealand in a new Four Nations competition in 2009.

While that tournament takes place, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Papua New Guinea will compete in a Pacific Nations Cup.

The winners will then take France's place in the 2010 Four Nations, to be staged in the southern hemisphere.

England remain favourites to win the right to the stage the next World Cup.

But the Australians are ready to throw their hat into the ring once more after revealing that the current tournament will make a projected surplus of A$5m (2.1m).

"Over the next few weeks Australia will put a bid together, and the International Federation will look at both bids and make a decision," said Rugby League International Federation chairman Colin Love, who is also head of the Australian Rugby League.

The changes to the international calendar were made in order to raise the standard of the game worldwide.

"The goal of this tournament was to re-establish the World Cup as a viable event in its own right and to raise funds to support the international game," he added.

"What I'm keen to do is make sure that the international game maximises the revenue that it can earn from this event."

A total of 243,349 fans, at an average of more than 14,300 per game, have attended the 2008 World Cup.

The competition comes to a climax on Saturday when Australia and New Zealand battle it out in the final, which takes place at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

"I think the tournament has pretty much delivered what we thought it would deliver," added Richard Lewis, deputy chairman of the RLIF and the Rugby Football League's executive chairman.

I do believe that the next World Cup will be much bigger and much more successful

Richard Lewis
RLIF deputy chairman

"We are not saying it's set the world alight and it has changed international rugby league overnight, but it has delivered a sound financial performance.

"It's really established the credibility of the international game. That can be built upon. I do believe that the next World Cup will be much bigger and much more successful - and the one after that.

"We are targeting a cycle of World Cups - 2013 and 2017 - that will give us the chance to be the biggest world sporting event in the calendar that year.

"It's all to play for and I think that this World Cup has been exactly what it said it would be, which is the foundation for future success."

Love said the timing of the Pacific Nations Cup would allow players from the English and Australian leagues to play for Pacific teams.

International tournament schedule 2009-2013:

Oct-Nov 2009: Four Nations series in the northern hemisphere featuring England, New Zealand, Australia and France.

South Pacific Cup with the winner gaining entry into the 2010 Four Nations.

Oct-Nov 2010: Four Nations series in southern hemisphere featuring Australia, New Zealand, England and the winner of the 2009 South Pacific Cup.

European nations to contest qualifying series to determine who will join the 2011 Four Nations.

Oct-Nov 2011: Four Nations in northern hemisphere.

South Pacific Cup (no guarantee of Four-Nations berth)

2013: World Cup (venue and dates to be confirmed).

see also
France on course for Tri-Nations
11 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
Aussies & NZ unchanged for final
19 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
Britain plans 2013 World Cup bid
17 Oct 08 |  Rugby League

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