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World Cup league boss calls for progress

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Update: 3:55PM Australia and New Zealand should stop dragging their feet on the international game and capitalise on the success of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, the event's director says.

Nigel Wood told a press conference on Monday that the tournament delivered on all its pre-tournament ambitions and has provided a lasting legacy for the sport.

He'll be handing over a pre-tax profit of more than STG4 million ($F12.2 million) to the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF).

However, Wood expressed his frustration at the absence of a detailed plan for the world-wide game over the next four years.

The RLIF announced last month that the 2017 World Cup would be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand but, four months on from their semi-final loss to New Zealand, England are still waiting to find out their next fixture.

The schedule for the 2014 Four Nations Series is expected to be announced on Tuesday morning, with Brisbane hosting a double-header on the weekend of October 26, England taking on Australia in Melbourne a week later and Wellington staging the final on November 15.

But that leaves tour organisers just six months to put together packages and Wood says there is even more frustration over delays in finalising the proposed return of the combined British and Irish teams Down Under in 2015.

Wood would like to see some of the cash generated from 2013 used to create a full-time executive for the RLIF and will call for a qualifying tournament for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup to be put in place when he attends the annual meeting in Sydney on May 2.

"We owe that to the (smaller) nations," Wood said.

"They need to know what they are playing for.

"We believe the international game is capable of a lot more than is being delivered at the moment."

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