Australian talents eye Britain

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Rugby League

Leading Australian players are said to be ready to fly to Britain to continue their careers after plans for their own Global League competition were blocked yesterday.

The ruling in the Federal Court in Sydney that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation can only continue to pay the 311 rebel players if they return to the Australian 's Optus Cup means the end of that attempt to find a loophole in the court decision that Super League in Australia cannot start before the year 2,000.

News Corporation's chief executive, Ken Cowley, has advised the players to return to the ARL, and the players at all clubs - apart from the Canberra Raiders, who meet today - will do so, albeit reluctantly.

However, some of the highest profile players, such as Canberra's Laurie Daley and Ricky Stuart, have made it clear that they would rather play Super League in Britain than stay in Australia under those circumstances.

European Super League's chief executive, Maurice Lindsay, in Sydney trying to help set up Global League, said he had been "besieged by scores of top Australian players" who were willing to travel to Britain. He has told them to follow Cowley's advice, however, and return to the ARL competition.