Gap years will precede formation of ‘Eight Nations’ tournament – Collier

Australia captain Cameron Smith (left) with New Zealand captain Jesse Bromwich (right) during the Ladbrokes Four Nations Press Conference at Anfield, Liverpool.
Australia captain Cameron Smith (left) with New Zealand captain Jesse Bromwich (right) during the Ladbrokes Four Nations Press Conference at Anfield, Liverpool.
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The future of the Four Nations is unclear as officials debate the international calendar.

Australia were victorious in Sunday’s Four Nations final, beating New Zealand 34-8 at Anfield, but the Rugby League International Federation’s chief executive David Collier does not know if or when the tournament will be held again.

The 2017 World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand from next October to December, will bring to an end the RLIF’s current calendar of events.

Although the Federation have confirmed the 2021 World Cup will take place in England and the 2025 competition in North America, there is nothing set for the intervening years.

Collier said there is a consensus for an eight-team event, which could be good news for Scotland, but that is unlikely to take place until 2023. “I think eventually the eight nations will become the Four Nations on steroids, so it has a growth spurt to it.

“We want a second major event and we made a decision on Saturday that we will play that in 2023 and we will go out to tender fairly soon for a destination.

“There is a gap in the first four-year cycle, so there is potential still for a Four Nations, but that will be up to the three major nations to determine.

“We call 2021 and 2025 the bookends – the three major nations in particular needed to know exactly where the major events are going to be played.

“Once we got the global events away, they fill in the rest and I think they are going to be making announcements fairly quickly.”

Collier announced his intention to help strengthen the nations immediately outside the big three of Australia, New Zealand and England on his appointment in March 2015.

He says a second global event, which could be called the Intercontinental Cup, is needed to provide funds to enable him to carry that out.