Great Britain to tour Down Under in 2006

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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.

Great Britain are to make their first extended trip to Australia since 1992 for a Tri-Nations tournament next year.

The Rugby League International Federation, at a meeting in Sydney, announced the calendar 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 - so-called because of what was then the novel concept of professionalism in rugby - will include at least one Australian player among the Kiwis.

The Ireland and Great Britain winger, 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 because of complications following an ankle operation.

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

Lesley Vainikolo, the Bradford winger who broke the record for Super League tries in a season last year, 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.

The former Bradford forward, Simon Knox, who has been playing for Barrow this season, has announced his retirement.

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