Super League Clubs to decide Magic Venue

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The Independent Online

The RFL will announce the venue for next year's magic weekend by the end of the summer and the Super League clubs will have a major say on the next destination.

The Rugby League's flagship event has been held at Edinburgh's Murrayfield stadium for the last two years and the game's governing body have an option to extend the agreement for another year.

The event which sees all 14 Super League clubs descend on one location for two full days of action started in Cardiff in May 2007 and, after two successful years at the Millennium Stadium, the concept was moved to Scotland in an attempt to spread the popularity of the game north of the border.

Speaking to Tryline, the Independent's rugby league podcast, RFL chief executive Nigel Wood praised the fans for their behaviour at the latest Magic Weekend.

He said: "The authorities are always staggered by the friendliness of the fans and how well they mix and blend together."

Wood was referring to the promotion of the game, particularly Magic Weekend, and made the point that there are very few sports where you could bring the best 14 clubs together in one location and have no worries of trouble with spectators.

The chief executive continued: "It's a terrific selling point, it strikes at the very heart of what's good about rugby league, the baronage, the bon-ami and the fraternity that is the sport and everybody having a good time and looking out for each other, exchanging the banter, that is everything that's right about rugby league."

And looking forward to next year, the consultation will be beginning shortly and the clubs will be heavily involved in the process.

Wood added "The executive will report to the clubs the pros and cons, we are exploring all the options now, but it will be the clubs that have the final say."

As part of those discussions the sport is considering the possibility of moving the event to the opening weekend of the campaign, as a big showpiece beginning to the season. There are rumours that Magic Weekend may be moved to Manchester's Old Trafford stadium to make it easier for fans to get to the event. Old Trafford already knows what it takes to host Rugby League, the Grand Final is staged there each October. However, Newcastle has been mentioned as an alternative location too.

Also, as special guest on the latest Tryline podcast, Nigel Wood talks about the appointment of the new England coach and the contentious decision to expel Halifax from the Challenge Cup.

You can listen to Tryline on the Independent's website or on iTunes by following this link.