Tri-Nations rumour shocks Noble

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The Independent Online

Great Britain are baffled by suggestions from Australia that the Tri-Nations series could be scrapped after just a year.

Great Britain are baffled by suggestions from Australia that the Tri-Nations series could be scrapped after just a year.

The chief executive of the Australian Rugby League, Geoff Carr, has said that Australian clubs could pull the plug if they feel their players are being over-played, despite the huge success of the tournament this time.

The Great Britain coach, Brian Noble, cannot believe that it could be allowed to die. "All the feedback I've had from Australia is that they're over the moon with what it's done for international rugby," he said.

Andy Farrell, the captain of the Great Britain team, said: "They want to try playing as many games as we do."

Farrell wants to play against New Zealand on Saturday, although there must be a temptation, with a place in the final assured, to rest some players. Sonny Bill Williams is out of the Kiwi side with a shoulder injury.

The Australian forward Mark O'Meley is to face a charge of striking in the brawl during Britain's victory on Saturday. Craig Fitzgibbon has been told he has no case to answer.

Wigan are to release Mark Smith to join Widnes, but deny that their first-choice hooker, the Great Britain incumbent, Terry Newton, is set to leave as well.

"It's preposterous," said the Wigan chairman, Maurice Lindsay. "Terry is one of our three best players and, when he plays well, we play well."

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