Down Under tour will be Britain's swansong

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The Independent Online

Great Britain are to make their first extended trip to Australia since 1992 for a Tri-Nations tournament next year - the tour is also likely to mark the end of the Lions.

Great Britain are to make their first extended trip to Australia since 1992 for a Tri-Nations tournament next year - the tour is also likely to mark the end of the Lions.

At a meeting in Sydney, the Rugby League International Federation, backed a proposal to disband the Lions after the 2008 World Cup in Australia. The plan, which was put forward because of funding concerns, will mean England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales will all compete as self-contained entities after that.

The RLIF also outlined the calender for the next four seasons, starting with a replay of last year's Tri-Nations in this country this autumn.

A year later, Great Britain will go Down Under for four or five games against Australia and New Zealand - the longest foray to Australia since the last Lions' tour 14 years ago.

In 2007, the centenary of the first overseas tour to Britain by the New Zealand All-Golds, will be marked by a similar enterprise. Now, as then, the All-Golds will include at least one Australian player, but, with the games not designated as Tests, they will not play the Lions.

Brian Carney, will see a specialist today about the knee injury he suffered in his comeback game for Wigan last Friday. Carney had not played since last year's Tri-Nations final.

Andy Farrell, the Wigan and Great Britain captain destined for rugby union, could yet choose Leicester ahead of Saracens.

The Bradford winger Lesley Vainikolo is set to extend his contract with the Bulls, despite an offer from Gloucester. Bradford are also hoping to announce a new signing today.

Leeds have named Danny McGuire in their squad to play at Bradford on Thursday, four weeks after his groin operation.

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