Rugby League: Britain given green light for Tri-Series

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The Independent Online
FEARS FOR this autumn's Tri-Series have been allayed with the confirmation of dates and venues of the tournament.

Australia will play New Zealand in Auckland on Friday 15 October, before meeting the Great Britain and Ireland side in Brisbane the following Friday night. Great Britain will then face New Zealand in Auckland on 29 October with the final at the Sydney Football Stadium on 5 November. If Andy Goodway's side does not qualify for the final, they will play an Oceania team as part of a double-header that night.

"We are delighted to confirm the dates and bring to an end any speculation that the tournament would not take place," the Rugby League's chief executive, Neil Tunnicliffe, said.

The cancellation of the World Nines and an exhibition game in South Africa, plus the Australians' apparent lack of enthusiasm for the Tri-Series, had raised doubts over its viability, with plans in place for Great Britain to tour New Zealand instead. But the side can now press ahead with their preparations.

Money taken over the turnstiles at The Boulevard last night has gone to Hull players in order to make up the shortfall in their wages when the club's owner, David Lloyd, cut their salaries last week.

Receipts from the game against Wakefield and the home match against Halifax this Sunday would be used to reimburse the players, Lloyd said.

The club's back-row forward Steve Barrow has been banned for three matches for a high tackle in a reserve game against Wakefield, taking him out of the reckoning for the next stage of the bottom club in Super League's battle against relegation.

Sean Richardson, of Dewsbury, was banned for one match for reckless use of the knee. Doncaster's Darryl Derose was found guilty of abuse to a referee but was not disciplined.

Rochdale's Jon Aston was found not guilty of use of his forearm and elbow to the head of an opponent, while his team-mate Danny Sculthorpe was found not guilty of punching.

Huddersfield, immediately above Wakefield in the table, are trying to sign a scrum-half to replace Bobbie Goulding, who is out for the season with a broken leg.

Salford, the other team that could be dragged down in the dogfight, have recalled their longest-serving player, Mark Lee, at scrum-half against London on Saturday.

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