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Page last updated at 17:57 GMT, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 18:57 UK

RFL hold off with Magic decision

Murrayfield
Karl Pryce touches down for Wigan in their Murrayfield win over Huddersfield

The Rugby Football League is to make a decision by the end of July on the future of Super League's Magic Weekend.

May's trip to Murrayfield for all 14 Super League clubs was the fourth year running that the event has been held.

But the attendance was down by more than 10 per cent on the 59,749 who turned up over the course of the two days the year before, to 52,043.

And, after an RFL meeting in Hull with all 14 clubs on Wednesday, a decision on its future has been delayed.

"The Super League clubs were appraised of a number of proposals regarding the future of Magic Weekend," said Super League Chairman Richard Lewis, who chaired the meeting at Hull FC's KC Stadium.

"They have asked the Executive for more information before they make a final decision.

"The Executive was charged with continuing with the various negotiations and discussions that have been ongoing for some months with a view to the Engage Super League clubs reaching a decision on The Magic Weekend by the end of July.

"We were very encouraged by the reaction to Magic Weekend 2010, both before and after Edinburgh, but the future of the event rests with the clubs themselves."

The original Magic Weekend was held at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium in 2007, attracting 58,831, an attendance figure that improved to 63,144 a year later.

The pound is much weaker now against the Aussie dollar. You're definitely going to see more players go out there

England captain Jamie Peacock

Clubs are thought to be considering a return to the Millennium Stadium, although experimenting with a completely new venue for 2011 has not been ruled out, notably St James' Park, Newcastle.

Super League teams are also considering a change of date from the May Day bank holiday weekend in a bid to boost crowds.

A move to the Spring bank holiday weekend is favourite but consideration may be given to England captain Jamie Peacock's call to use the event as a blockbusting start to the season.

At Wednesday's meeting, Super League clubs also decided to maintain the salary cap at £1.65m for the third consecutive season.

Under current regulations, teams cannot spend more than £1.65m before prize money payments to their top 25 earners.

The salary cap has come under some criticism recently, Peacock having voiced his concerns that it could lead to an exodus of British players to the higher-paid Australian rugby league.

"The pound is much weaker now against the Aussie dollar," Leeds Rhinos star Peacock told the Guardian.

"Their salary cap is going up while ours stays the same.

"It's something the game needs to watch out for over here.

"You're definitely going to see more players go out there and it could be detrimental to the strength of Super League - if not necessarily to the England team."

Meanwhile, clubs are also considering proposals to develop and expand a Nines competition across the sport.



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see also
Super League Show
17 Feb 08 |  Rugby League
Has Magic Weekend lost its spell?
03 May 10 |  Rugby League
RFL backs Murrayfield success
23 Mar 09 |  Rugby League
Clubs to rule on Magic's future
07 May 07 |  Rugby League


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