The former Wigan and Great Britain winger Martin Offiah has called for an expansion of the international Origin Series, which has attracted controversy after a poor-quality first match on Saturday that saw a serious injury to the Wigan half-back Thomas Leuluai (pictured). England beat the Exiles 18-10 at St Helens in the first of a two-match series which was expanded following the success of last year's one-off match.
Offiah wants the format to be further expanded to give Steve McNamara's team the best preparation for the 2013 World Cup in England and Wales. "I can't express how important this two-match series against the Exiles is in England's build-up to the World Cup," said Offiah. "Personally, I'd like to see another game added to the schedule because, if we want to do well next year, these matches are imperative.
"No disrespect to Wales and France but they are two developing nations, whereas the likes of Australia and New Zealand have been at the top level for many years. Without playing those sides in our build-up, we need the next best thing and I believe that is the Exiles. I know this concept isn't to everyone's liking but it is to mine and I know the England lads see the importance of it." The Exiles will have a chance to level the series in Huddersfield on 4 July.
Wakefield must wait longer to discover if they are to get the go-ahead for a new stadium. The club were told to expect a decision on a proposed £19m development at Newmarket yesterday, following a two-week public inquiry in December. "The club has been informed this decision has been delayed with no new date currently set," Wakefield said. yesterday.
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