Rugby League: Summit over summer gap

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The Independent Online
The Rugby League and Super League are on course to clash over how to fill the three week mid-season gap this July.

A high-powered meeting of Super League chairmen, chief executives and coaches at Brighouse last night discussed plans to take matches between club sides "on the road" throughout the British Isles.

The blueprint would cut across the Rugby League's own plans for a "home international" series, involving England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France, at the same time.

The chairman of SLE, Chris Caisley, said that Super League clubs needed to maintain their profile through the summer and that they must have first call on their players.

The Rugby League's acting chief executive, Neil Tunnicliffe, said: "We discussed Super League demonstration games in Dublin, Swansea and Glasgow that would be complementary to our own plans for games there," he said. "I would hope that is what they have in mind, rather than anything in competition.''

A gathering of so many key personnel last night looked suspiciously to outsiders like another step towards a breakaway, but this was denied by SLE's chief executive, Colin Myler.

The First and Second Division Clubs' Association will today unveil a format and a sponsor for a tournament this season involving their counterparts from France.

- Dave Hadfield